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Archive for South Sudan

Newsline: South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs ministry says diplomat accused of NYC rape under “full investigation”

The #SouthSudan #diplomat accused of raping a woman in Washington Heights has been recalled to his native country, according to a statement from the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “The leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation took the decision to immediately recall the diplomat in question, pending a full investigation from a specialized committee,” the ministry said. Oliha has been “suspended from his duties, awaiting the outcome of this investigation,” the ministry noted. Despite recalling Oliha back home, far from city investigators, the ministry said “sexual misconduct in any shape or form is heinous and wholly unacceptable.” (https://news.yahoo.com/diplomat-accused-ny-rape-recalled-152800159.html) Charles Oliha, 46, managed to dodge a rape charge because of his diplomatic status after being briefly detained by police Sunday night. By Thursday, he was back in North Africa, some 6,000 miles away from New York City, members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation confirmed. Back in Africa, Oliha is considered a “miscreant diplomat” known for his “undiplomatic behaviors during private functions and going to off-limits places in the areas of his assigned locations,” sources told the Sudan Tribune. Several foreign diplomats have escaped justice in NYC in a variety of cases over the years, including two Sudanese diplomats accused in city sex attacks in 2017. In October 2017, a 23-year-old woman told cops that diplomat Hassan Salih, 36, groped her breasts and buttocks at Bar None on Third Ave. near 13th St. He was cut loose because of his diplomatic status. That January, Mohammad Abdalla Ali was charged with sexual abuse after a woman accused him of grinding on her in a Manhattan subway. He also was freed because of his diplomatic status.

Newsline: South Sudan Diplomat Urinates During Live Panel Discussion

A South Sudanese diplomat in the United States sparked an online uproar when he was seen urinating during a live Facebook political discussion. Panelists were discussing the appointment of a governor for Upper Nile state when Gordon Buay, South Sudan’s deputy ambassador to the U.S., was seen walking to the bathroom wearing only a shirt and relieving himself, in full view of all other panelists. (https://www.voanews.com/africa/south-sudan-focus/south-sudan-diplomat-urinates-during-live-panel-discussion) The video went viral, with many social media users calling on Buay to step down. Some commentators accused Buay of being intoxicated during the panel discussion, noting that he was shouting at other panelists. While some of the panelists appeared shocked to see Buay relieve himself, a few smiled and laughed. The video was removed from Youtube but a clip was shared widely on social media minutes after organizers removed the original video. Buay posted a message on his Facebook page urging people not to believe what he called a “fake video.” Buay did not respond to numerous attempts by VOA’s South Sudan in Focus to reach him for comment. South Sudanese government officials have also declined to comment.

Newsline: U.S. recalls ambassador from South Sudan after unity government failure

The United States has recalled its ambassador from South Sudan after the leaders of formerly warring factions failed to agree on a unity government, the U.S. State Department said. Ambassador Thomas Hushek will return for consultations “as part of the re-evaluation of the U.S. relationship with the Government of South Sudan given the latest developments,” the department said in a statement. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted that Washington would “work with the region to support efforts to achieve peace and a successful political transition in South Sudan.” (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-southsudan-diplomacy/u-s-recalls-ambassador-to-south-sudan-to-consult-on-unity-government-failure-state-department-idUSKBN1XZ1UV) South Sudan’s ministry of foreign affairs said it was still engaging with the United States.

Newsline: South Sudan backtracks on embassy shutdowns, set to reopen 4

South Sudan has reversed a decision to close down some of its embassies across the world as the country’s president Salva Kiir on Friday ordered the reopening of four diplomatic missions that were closed some months ago. Kiir quashed a previous directive for the closure of some diplomatic missions and ordered the reopening of three embassies in Europe and one in Asia, information minister Michael Makuei Lueth told reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting. “The president informed the cabinet that he has set aside the order that was made for the closure of some embassies,” Makuie said. (http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-08/17/c_138314799.htm) “Those embassies which were closed… another order has been issued reinstating them. These embassies are of Norway, France, Italy and Kuwait… now these embassies will continue to operate,” he added. South Sudan’s foreign ministry announced in May that it was reviewing the status of its 39 embassies and consulates across the world and close some in a bid to reduce operational costs.

Newsline: South Sudan closes embassies

In an apparent bid to limit spending, South Sudan moved to shut down several of its embassies. South Sudan’s authorities reportedly aim to close the embassies in France, Norway, Ghana, Kuwait and Italy. The upcoming closure of South Sudanese embassies abroad would the country’s foreign diplomacy. The move could also adversely affect relations with the countries where the embassies are closed.

Newsline: South Sudan denies defection of diplomat in Kenya

The South Sudanese embassy in Kenya dismissed rumours about the defection of one of its diplomats to a rebel group led by General Paul Malong Awan. The diplomatic mission in Nairobi was reacting to a statement announcing the defection of Minister Plenipotentiary Kur Garang Deng to the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) of Gen Malong who is based in Kenya too. Deng in his alleged statement of defection denounced the bad leadership, tribalism, lack of governance, killing of civilians and corruption. Also, in the personal statement appeared the stamp of the embassy but it was obviously photocopied from another document. “We would like to unequivocally state that this document is not genuine and is aimed at defaming and maligning the character and name of Mr Kur Garang Deng and the Embassy in an attempt to create obstacles in his dispensation of duties at the mission,” said a statement. The embassy further denounced the “smear campaign” against its diplomat and pointed out that the stamp has been copied and pasted onto the document and also the document bears no signature. Kenya hosts thousands of South Sudanese and over 115,000 refugees from South Sudan.


Newsline: Vatican appears set to open first embassy in South Sudan

Pope Francis appears set to order the opening of the Vatican’s first permanent embassy in South Sudan in a gesture of solidarity with a country that has suffered a devastating civil war since 2013. The bishops’ conference for Sudan and South Sudan announced the move in a release June 6, saying it had received word from the Vatican’s Secretariat of State that Kenyan Msgr. Mark Kadima would shortly be named as South Sudan’s first resident apostolic nuncio. “I express to His Holiness heartfelt gratitude,” said Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, president of the conference. “This step of our Holy Father truly cools the hearts of downtrodden war victims in these nations and … symbolizes the honest friendly ties between South Sudan and the Holy See.” South Sudan has had an apostolic nuncio, or Vatican ambassador, since 2013 in Archbishop Charles Balvo. But Balvo, who is originally from New York, has conducted his work from Nairobi, Kenya.


Newsline: Sudan summons CAR envoy to protest killing of ambassador’s guard

Sudan’s foreign ministry summoned the Central African Republic (CAR) Ambassador to protest the killing of a Sudanese security agent killed by the local police inside the residence of its ambassador in Bangui. The security agent was mistakenly killed by the members of the Central Office for the Suppression of Banditry (OCRB), who thought he was a member militia member as the situation remained tense in the CAR capital on Friday after the death of some 24 people on Tuesday in attacks on a church and a mosque. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Gharib Allah Khidir said they handed over an official protest note to the CAR Ambassador Abdel Rahim Abdallah demanding to arrest the perpetrators of te attack and bring them to justice. Also, Sudan requested to provide the needed security to protect the mission, the ambassador and its team members. The Sudanese foreign ministry said the slain security agent was the guard of the ambassador’s residence. Ambassador Khidir said CAR Central African President Faustin-Archange Touadera paid a visit to the ambassador’s residence to offer his condolences and pledged to bring the perpetrators to justice.


Newsline: South Sudan diplomat mistaken for bandit, shot dead in Central African Republic

An aide to South Sudan’s ambassador to the Central African Republic (CAR) was shot and killed in the country’s capital, Bangui on Friday. The unnamed official, AFP reported, was shot by men from the Central Office for the Suppression of Banditry (OCRB) who mistook him for a bandit. The incident reportedly took place after the OCRB men spotted aide with a weapon in his car and pursued him till his residence in Bangui. The Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera has reportedly apologised for the shooting of the embassy official. South Sudan’s foreign affairs ministry is yet to comment on the incident.


Newsline: South Sudan Embassy Worker in US Says Went Unpaid for a Year

An employee of South Sudan’s embassy in Washington says the embassy owes him more than a year’s back salary — another indication of mounting financial problems for the war-ravaged country’s government. In January, South Sudan closed its embassy in London after not paying rent on the building for five months. There is no sign South Sudan’s embassy in Washington will go the same route, but its driver, Manyok Lual, suggests the embassy is having cash flow problems. In an interview with VOA’s South Sudan in Focus, Lual, 44, said employees of the embassy went a year without getting paid until this month, when diplomats received two months of salary arrears and local employees like himself received one month. “They say we don’t have money in the country, the country is at war now … and just hang on, when we get the money, we will pay you. And it is quite a long time without getting paid,” Lual said. Multiple sources at the embassy say the country has been paying its rent, but sometimes delays its payments by three to five days.