August 23, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —- As the world’s youngest nation, South Sudan, slowly crumbles and disintegrates along tribal lines and political rivalries, the invisible hands of economy are shocking operations of South Sudan’s embassies around the world.
Within the last one year, President Salva Kiir has recalled 10 out of 24 ambassadors and “temporarily” suspended operations in most of the embassies as part of austerity measures until South Sudan economy is restored, however, the young nation’s economy has suffered major blows within the last one year as fighting continued to escalate.
According to Amb. Gordon Buay Malek, who runs South Sudan’s embassy in Washington-DC, the embassy has not paid its staffs for eight months – forcing the staffs to look for “second jobs” to pay their bills.
“However, the financial situation we are facing is unbearable. We have eight months without salaries to all diplomatic missions. The local staff in DC are reluctant to report to work because they have no money to commute.” Said a statement authorized by Gordon and leaked to Nyamilepedia
“Starting from tomorrow, all local staff will stay in their houses or look for jobs to pay their rents and food because I am unable to force them to work.” Gordon Buay continue.
Buay is running the show in Washington as the main ambassador, Amb. Garang Diing, has gone to Juba to follow up on when his staff would be paid.
According to insiders, Amb. Garang can’t afford a ticket back to the United States and therefore he has to wait in Juba until money comes in.
Amb. Buay, who is shouldering the responsibilities, tell President Kiir that he will not be able to organize his reception or meeting with President Trump when he arrives.
Kiir is expected to visit Washington on September 27th to help fix bad bilateral relations between his Government and Trump Administration but his ambassador regrets that he wouldn’t be able to do anything without money to pay his rents and pay his staffs.
“I’m in the process to talk to the leadership of Trump administration to give you an audience when you come to DC on September, 27th…but if nobody is reporting to work, it will affect your visit to Washington. Your visit needs all the employees of the Embassy to be at work.” Amb. Buay says.
“I cannot force people to report to work while they have not been paid for the last eight months. If they sue the Embassy in Court, it would be a serious issue in the media in America.” Buay continued.
Buay, in his letter to President Kiir, explained that some staffs are already evicted from their homes and himself could be evicted as well any time soon.
“One diplomat was evicted ten days ago because of lack of payment and moved to Amb. Garang Diing’s residence.” He states.
“Besides, my very survival is at stake now. I didn’t pay my apartment rent of August. The landlord may kick me out If I don’t pay within ten days.” Buay claims.
“Instead for me to be focusing on making your visit to DC successful, I will be busy about my survival and where to sleep when I am evicted.” he continued.
Amb. Buay said he could not attend an important meeting in Pittsburgh last week on South Sudan because he cannot afford a ticket.
“Without a salary to buy a ticket to attend a meeting, how would I perform the duties I am supposed to do?” Buay asks
“We the South Sudan diplomats have given up talking about salaries because it seems to us that nobody in Juba is feeling the pain we are going through.” He continued.
South Sudan embassy in Washington could be the last to go public about undue payments but the economic collapse has been felt everywhere in the country and also abroad.
Judges, university lectures, police and army have gone on strike within the capital, Juba, and other major towns in demand of their salaries, however, no promises have been made by the government so far.
Other embassies that have faced closure or have shutdown important operations and government scholarships include South Sudan embassies in the United Kingdom, Kenya, Sudan, Egypt, Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
To avoid embarrassment and public criticism, majority of South Sudan embassies have silently suspended operations and recalled staffs to Juba.