National, News

South Sudan’s Diplomats in agony over non-payment

By Charles K Mark


The minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation laments over suffering of South Sudan’s foreign diplomats, saying they are not paid.

Ramadan Mohamed Abdalla Goc said the country has the least number of embassies in the world, but the diplomates have not been paid for months.

“In total they have 35 months without being paid. when you see one diplomat on the streets crying, there is problem behind it,” disclosed Goc.

The minister told Parliament on Tuesday that the country’s ambassadors and all mission staff were only paid 3 times a year in 2019, leaving arrears of 9 months not paid until today.

For the year 2020, the minister said the foreign mission staff were paid only once and arrears of 11 months not paid while in 2021, thanks to the former minister of finance, it was cleared.

According to the minister, in 2022 the foreign mission staff went for 3 months without being paid while last year 2023, they have 8 months without being paid and this year already 5 months.

The Minister appealed for parliament intervention to assist the government in finding solutions to the concern.

“We need your contribution for this problem to be solved. It is not our problem at the ministry, it’s a problem of the Republic of South Sudan. How can you keep people outside of the country for 4 years without being paid?” Goc lamented.

The minister revealed that South Sudan has only 30 embassies out of 195 countries in the world, yet it   does not own any building of its own to call an embassy.

“By then, our country was doing well; even one hundred million dollars, we could call it pocket money to some of our people. The country was in a position by then to have embassies. Sorry, we don’t have embassies. We are renting,” he expressed.

However, the Foreign Affairs’ Minister disclosed that there is a plan to downsize the number of diplomats in the future, arguing that the move cannot materialize before the diplomats are paid their arrears.

“Some of these people if you see them, if recall, they will die. So, our plan is if these people are paid then we will start downsizing,” Goc explained.

Minister Goc was responding to concerns raised in parliament by the acting SPLM-IO Chief Whip, Gatwech Lam Puoch.

Mr. Lam raised a serious concern about the young East African country having a huge number of embassies which come with over employment of diplomats.

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