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Minister Goc says missions unpaid for 35 months as diplomat seen weeping

Author: Emmanuel J. Akile | Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The new Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ramadan Mohamed Abdallah Goc Ayuel - Credit: Office of the President - April 26, 2024

South Sudan’s Foreign Minister said the country’s diplomats and staff in foreign missions have not received their salaries for 35 months, adding that the situation has proven challenging to the ministry.

Ramadan Goc said the cash crunch in foreign missions is to blame for the recent incident in which a diplomat was seen crying in the street in Europe.

Online allegations indicated two weeks ago, that a senior South Sudanese diplomat at the South Sudan Embassy in Rome, was evicted from his apartment after failing to pay rent for six months.

Minister Goc said the diplomats in foreign missions should be paid their arrears in order to carry out their duties.

He said the non-payment of arrears, salaries and rent for the country’s embassies is a great challenge facing the ministry of foreign affairs.

Goc disclosed that South Sudan does not own a single embassy land in foreign countries, adding the government is renting all of them.

“Starting from the year 2019, our ambassadors and all our staff in the missions, they were only paid three times a year, so they have arears of 9 months of 2019, not being paid until today,” Goc said.

“For the year 2020, they were paid only once a year, 11 months without being paid, so they were only paid once, so they arrears of 11 months.”

“For 2021, thanks to the former minister of finance it was cleared. 2022 they have 3 months without being paid. Last year 2023, they have 8 months without being paid, and this year already 5 months.”

“So in total, they have 35 months without being paid. So when you see one diplomat on the street crying, there is problem behind that, and we need your contribution for this problem to be solved. It is not our problem as the ministry it is a problem of the Republic of South Sudan.”

According to Minister Goc, there are only 30 South Sudanese embassies, in addition to one mission in New York and a consulate in Dubai.

In October 2021, the national government allocated $100 million to its foreign missions as civil servants back home suffered months of salary delays.

The cabinet directed the ministry of finance to give the ministry of foreign affairs the money to clear salary arrears of diplomats and staff in various embassies overseas.

In June 2019, the government announced plans to close South Sudan’s embassies in France, Norway, Ghana, Kuwait and Italy, among others due to the economic crisis.

The decision was criticized by political commentators who believe it could lead to international isolation of South Sudan.


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