South Sudan Trims the Fat

South Sudan will close some of its embassies abroad as the war-torn country seeks to trim government costs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Mawien Makol Ariik said. Most of the land-locked East African nation’s revenue comes from oil sales, which have been hampered by a decline in prices and an uprising in neighboring Sudan where its exports are shipped from. Ariik said didn’t say how many embassies would be shut.  Last week the government sacked 40 overseas diplomats for not showing up for work, some of them for years. The foreign ministry in Juba said it had tried in vain “to engage with these diplomats who went Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL) over the past few months and years”, including some posted to embassies in the United States and United Kingdom. None had replied or returned home after finishing their postings – prompting their mass firing in a terse memo issued by the foreign ministry.


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