South Sudan will reduce the number of staff in its foreign embassies across the world due to huge operational costs, a senior foreign ministry official said Monday.
Mawien Makol Arik, Ministry of foreign affairs spokesperson, said the government had deployed 400 diplomats in its embassies and it is working on a strategy to cut the workforce due to economic crunch.
“We are working on a mechanism to reduce the number of diplomats in our embassies across the world and bring them back to the ministry of foreign affairs to reduce the operational cost,” Mawien said.
Mawien denied reports that the government plans to close some of its embassies. The East African nation currently operates 29 embassies worldwide.
On Friday last week, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said he had directed the foreign ministry to cut its workforce in the diplomatic missions due to the economic crisis facing the wart-torn country.
“I direct the leadership of the ministry to reduce the number of diplomats as per the cabinet resolution to a manageable size considering financial situation,” Kiir said during the launching of a China-aided conference facility in Juba last week.
Conflict-hit South Sudan plunged into economic crunch following eruption of civil war in 2013.
The conflict has drained the oil-rich country of much-needed revenue generated from oil production, leaving the country’s ailing economy on the verge of collapse.
A peace deal signed in August 2015 led to the formation of a transitional unity government in last April, but was shattered by renewed fighting in July 2016.
Source: Xinhua Net – China