South Sudan diplomats threaten to strike after 19 months without salaries

South Sudan minister of foreign affairs Awut Deng speaking to the parliament on May 14th 2019|Photo Credit: Eye Radio

November 10th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan diplomats who haven’t been paid for 19 months (one year and seven months) have threatened to go on strike saying their conditions in the countries they are posted is deteriorating.

South Sudan government early this year decided to shut up a number of embassies because of lack of resources to rent offices and pay the staff. The government later reopened a number of embassies after advice that the closure may lead to strained relations with certain countries.

Speaking to Nyamilepedia on Friday, a South Sudan diplomat said President Kiir and his finance minister were mistreating them for sending them outside the country and have gone unpaid for almost two year.

The diplomat who refused to be named said the government haven’t pay them since April 2018 and had cut half of their salaries when remitted in January 2015.

“We would like to bring to the attention of South Sudan general public, regional and international community, what President Salva Kiir and his Government (especially the Min. of Finance) are doing to us,” the diplomat said. “We are being sent to work abroad in South Sudan Embassies but we are not being paid for over nineteen months and half now (from April 2018 to November 2019 plus half salary they had cut of January 2015).”

“We (diplomats) have become beggars, our future is being ruined, our kids don’t go to school anymore, we are on street due to the lack of payment of the rent of shelters, we are dying of hunger  etc. and no one even talk about it in Juba, not even the parliament,” the diplomat said.

He accused South Sudan minister of finance of “keeps lying to us,” about when the salaries would be remitted to the diplomats. “South Sudan is unable also to pay the rent of the chancery and residence of head of missions; leaving aside sending operation funds to embassies for over 5 years now.”

The diplomat further urged the government to “clear all our arrears and close the missions as they are unable to keep it to the required standard as per the Vienna convention.” He also threatened that “if our arrears are not cleared all, we are going to start demonstrations.”

The diplomat said “the months of November 2019 marks the beginning of the 20th months and half without salary.”

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