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South Sudan diplomats unpaid for two years: foreign minister

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September 10, 2021 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s newly appointed foreign minister revealed on Friday that diplomats serving outside the country have not been paid for two years.

South Sudan Foreign Minister speaks during the swearing-in ceremony in Juba on 10 September 2021 (ST photo)President Salva Kiir on Thursday evening appointed Mayiik Ayii Deng as the new foreign and international cooperation minister, replacing Beatrice Khamis.

Speaking during his acceptance speech of the new assignment Deng said guidance of the president will help over the challenges facing his ministry.

“I acknowledge the appointment and appreciate your trust bestowed upon me as a Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. It’s quite a challenging task amidst a number of pressing issues. I promise with your guidance, we will win over,” said Deng in his statement seen by the Sudan Tribune.

The new chief diplomat pinpointed that despite the signing of the revitalized peace agreement his government still has to improve relations with the international community and deal with the "geopolitics of liberal international order" which remains a big challenge for his government.

He underscored the need to address the financial problems the South Sudanese diplomatic missions are facing and to reform the ministry in order to carry out his duties.

“We have diplomatic missions that underwent two years without payments, non-payment of our membership fees and obligations in nearly all multilateral institutions and poor working conditions in the Ministry," he said.

"All these challenges have led to underperformance and less strategic achievement,” he stressed.

In his remarks at the swearing-in ceremony, President Kiir directed the new foreign minister to reform the central administration of his ministry.

Also, he instructed Deng to speed up efforts to settle the payment of Diplomatic staff, payment of subscription fees to regional and international organizations.

Kiir insistence on the need to reform the foreign ministry and to settle financial issues facing the South Sudanese diplomats may explain his unexpected sack of the former foreign minister Beatrice Khamis, say observers in Juba.

(ST)

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