The South Sudan government plans to close 39 overseas embassies due to the worsening financial situation the country is facing.
Mawien Makol, the spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, told local media Juba is finding it difficult to manage most embassies abroad.
“We thought of closing a number of embassies so that we can manage the remaining ones well,” Mr Makol said, as quoted by The Dawn newspaper in Juba.
April this year, media reports indicated South Sudanese government hired US PR firm Gainful Solutions Inc., a California-based lobbying group, for a two-year contract for $3.7m to help improve relations with U.S, ensure military assistance
Early this year, South Sudan’s cash-strapped government reportedly spent almost half of the money ear-marked for the country’s fragile peace deal on funding renovations for politicians’ homes.
On May 16, Juba announced it had sacked 40 overseas diplomats for not showing up for work, some of them for years.
South Sudan heavily relies on oil revenue to fund its national projects.
According to the World Bank, South Sudan is the most oil-dependent nation in the world, with oil accounting for around 60 per cent of its gross domestic product.
But after the young nation descended into civil war in late 2013, oil production declined from 350,000 in 2011 to less than 130,000 barrels per day in 2014 amid soaring inflation.
Following the signing of a new peace deal in September 2018, conflict has reduced and previously closed oilfields have reopened, which helped raise oil output to nearly 200,000 barrels per day in the last six months.