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Philippine bans deployment of workers to South Sudan

October 8, 2019 (MANILA) - The Philippine government has ordered a total deployment ban of Filipino workers to South Sudan amid the escalating violence in the war-torn East African country.

“The government has imposed a total ban on the deployment of workers to South Sudan due to the unstable peace and security situation, and escalating violence in that country which threatens the safety of Filipinos workers in the North African region,” the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said in a statement.

“In a resolution, the governing board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration decided to ‘impose a total ban on the processing and deployment of all OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) bound for South Sudan, until further notice.’” it added.

The ban was reportedly declared after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised the crisis alert level in South Sudan from two to four.

“The DFA said it raised the alert in South Sudan to level 4 from alert level 2 due to the upsurge in violence that erupted between the forces allied with President Salva Kiir and the Protection Unit from the SPLA in Operation (SPLA-IO) of Vice President Riek Machar,” the statement issued on Tuesday further stated.

It further stressed that under alert level 4, repatriation of Filipino workers in the “affected area” is also mandatory.

South Sudan plunged into civil war in mid-December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused the country’s former vice-president Riek Machar of attempting a coup, allegations he dismissed.

Since tens of thousands of people have been killed and million displaced in the country’s worst ever violence.

(ST)