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South Sudan ambassador to U.S. returns to Juba

February 9, 2018 (JUBA)- South Sudan’s ambassador to the United States has returned to the country after recall from Washington, sparking debate in the public about what would be next in the midst of diplomatic tension.

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South Sudan’s Ambassador to the United States, Garang Diing Akuong (Photo S. Sudan embassy)

Ambassador Garang Diing Akuong told Sudan Tribune on Friday that he returned for consultation with the leadership of the country, following what, Juba will determine either he stays or return to his place of assignment.

Akuong further said relations with the United States were cordial, stressing that issues which come up here and there would be addressed by the leadership through the diplomatic channel.

“There should be no panic. My recall should not raise an alarm. A recall of an ambassador is a normal thing in diplomacy. It does not mean relations between the countries have deteriorated. No, our relations with the United States are historical and continue to increase day by day," Akuong said.

"The issues which come up here and there should not cause an alarm. They will be addressed by the leadership of the two countries and this is why I came for consultation with the leadership, including his Excellency, the President of the Republic of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, who, by the way, if our people do not know, is the chief diplomat by the virtue of being the President of a sovereign country,” he stressed.

In diplomacy, a recall of an ambassador is considered as a protest against a decision or a declaration by the country to which he is accredited.

Following, Washington decision to impose weapons embargo on South Sudan on 2 February, the country’s First Vice President Taban Deng Gai said the United States was not a partner.

He said his country would partner with the Chinese and Russia in development, pointing to Chinese and Russia investment in oil refinery and production as well as the construction of roads and bridges.