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In South Sudan Official says country faces cash crisis at its foreign embassies

Cash crises has hit foreign embassies of South Sudan following the recent unrest in the country.

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Riek Machar play

South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar speaks during an interview with Reuters in Kenya's capital Nairobi July 8, 2015.

(REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/File Photo)

South Sudan says it’s facing cash crisis at its foreign embassies stemming from salary delays as well risk eviction for failure to pay rents.

Philip Thon Leek, Chairperson of Specialised Committee for Foreign Relations in transitional Parliament, told Xinhua in an interview in Juba.

He said that the government was making frantic efforts to rescue the diplomats who may be at risk of eviction due to rental dues.

“The diplomats have been going without salaries for about five months, and some of them are being threatened to be dragged to court for failing to pay rents by their landlords,” Leek said.

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In March, South Sudan said it would downsize the number of staff in its embassies across the world in order to cut costs due to economic slump stemming from a two-year civil war.

The move comes amid unconfirmed reports that some of the foreign missions have been served with eviction orders for not paying rent while some staff have not been paid for months due to economic crisis.

“Our diplomats don’t get their salaries regularly because scarcity of hard currency has disadvantaged them from paying their house rents abroad,” Leek stressed.

The lawmaker explained that the situation has been exacerbated by the current economic crisis that has made foreign currencies to be very scarce, coupled with the large number of diplomats deployed in foreign missions abroad.

Since South Sudan gained its independence from Khartoum in 2011, the world youngest nation has so far opened 32 missions worldwide.

Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Mawien Makol said that the delays were due to economic crisis, coupled with recent fighting that forced former first vice president Riek Machar to flee the country.

“We have some economic problems at the moment, but we are trying our best, and also to reduce the number of officials in some of those embassies,” Makol said.

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