Broke South Sudan resolves to close 39 embassies

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South Sudan's embassy i

By East African correspondent

The South Sudan government plans to close about 39 overseas embassies due to the worsening financial situation the country is facing.

Mr Mawien Makol, the spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said Juba is finding it difficult to manage most embassies abroad.

“We thought of closing a number of embassies so that we can manage the remaining ones well,” Mr Makol said, as quoted by local media in Juba.

He said the decision for the closure will be effected soon.

On May 16, Juba announced it had sacked 40 overseas diplomats for not showing up for work, some of them for years.

South Sudan heavily relies on oil revenue to fund its national projects.

South Sudan became an independent state in 2011 following a referendum that favoured its separation from Sudan.

Economic troubles started after the outbreak of war in 2013. Rampant corruption and political instability have also been blamed for its financial woes.

Juba and Khartoum in June 2018 agreed to jointly repair oil infrastructure damaged during South Sudan’s civil war and allow resumption of production.

According to the World Bank, South Sudan is the most oil-dependent nation in the world, with oil accounting for around 60 per cent of its gross domestic product.

But after the young nation descended into civil war in late 2013, oil production declined from 350,000 in 2011 to less than 130,000 barrels per day in 2014 amid soaring inflation.

Following the signing of a new peace deal in September 2018, conflict has reduced and previously closed oilfields have reopened, which helped raise oil output to nearly 200,000 barrels per day in the last six months.

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