September 3, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan on Wednesday announced the appointment of Ruben Marial Benjamin as its first ambassador to Israel, several months after making the government made the nomination. Ajiing Adiang Marik was also named as the country’s official representative to Italy.
The announcements come after the Israeli and Italian governments officially accepted the nominees.
Ambassador Mawien Makol, spokesperson for the ministry of foreign affairs, told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday it was the first time the country would have full diplomatic representation in both countries, since gaining independence from neighbouring Sudan in 2011.
The appointment of the two diplomats is seen as an attempt by the government to increase its diplomatic presence in key strategic countries.
One of the world’s poorest countries, South Sudan’s future depends much on the cooperation of its allies and neighbours.
One of the young nation’s immediate challenges is to shape ties with allies, old and new, as countries line up to sign investment deals and pledge development dollars.
Makol says the appointment of the two diplomats means South Sudan is now presented with a total of 25 embassies across the world.
“Previously, there were 23 embassies, but with these appointments we will have 25 embassies representing the country in key countries,” Makol said.