South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday said 40 overseas diplomats have been dismissed for not reporting to work.
A statement by the ministry says it was left with no choice but to let the diplomats go, following fruitless attempts to convince them to return to work in Juba.
The ministry’s spokesperson, Mawien Makol, said none of the diplomats who went missing in the last few months and years had responded to their engagements or returned to Juba after finishing their postings.
Makol added that the locations of the missing diplomats are still unclear.
Some of the diplomats had been posted to embassies in Kenya, Uganda, the United States and the United Kingdom.
The full names of the affected diplomats were printed in a table titled “Dismissed/Terminated Diplomat”.
The diplomats listed in a memo issued by the foreign ministry have been removed from the payroll and formally discharged of duty effective immediately.
They have also been ordered to return their diplomatic passports and those of their family members to the nearest South Sudan mission.
Some of South Sudan’s missions abroad have been closed in recent years. Some staff in some embassies have reportedly complained of their paycheques being delayed.
However, Makol denied speculation that the dismissals were a measure to save costs for the South Sudanese government.