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South Sudan directs oil companies to reinstate former employees

November 1, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s ministry of Petroleum has directed the Joint Operating Companies (JOCs), a consortium of oil companies operating in the oil sector in the country, to reinstate all their former employees who previously abandoned their jobs due to the outbreak of civil war on 15 December 2013.

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A worker at the power plant of an oil processing facility in South Sudan’s Unity state on 22 April 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

In a letter dated 28 October 2016 signed by the Minister of Petroleum, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, and addressed to presidents of the oil companies including the Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC), Sudd Petroleum Operating Company (SPOC) and Dar Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC), the minister explained that the directive came in accordance with the presidential order which called for reinstatement of civil servants to their former jobs which they left due to the war.

“Reference is also made to the Republican Order NO: 25/2016 for the Reinstatement of the Civil Servants at the National and State levels who had abandoned their positions following the crisis in the Republic of South Sudan on 15th December 2013 A.D.,” partly reads the letter seen by Sudan Tribune.

“In the light of this, I am directing all the Joint Operating Companies (JOCs) to reinstate all the employees who abandoned their jobs,” Minister Gatkuoth said.

While many former employees in the private oil sector left their jobs in the aftermath of the civil war, others were systematically laid off by companies when their operations were disrupted by war.

For instance, GPOC which operated in the Unity Field and SPOC that operated in Tharjiath oil field, both in Unity state, have since 2014 closed their operations due to war. Only DPOC which operates in Upper Nile state such as in Faloij oilfields have continued to operate.

It is unclear whether the oil companies which have not resumed their productions in Unity state will be able to reinstate their former employees per the directive from the ministry.

(ST)