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Sudan Tribune

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South Sudan minimises absence of foreign minister

March 18, 2018 (JUBA) – South Sudanese officials have downplayed the five-weeks absence of Foreign Minister Deng Alor from Juba, claiming the ministry continues to run its activities normally.

Deng Alor Kuol (Photo Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
Deng Alor Kuol (Photo Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
Appointed in January 2016 as representative of the Former Detainees group in the national unity government in line with the peace agreement of 2015, Alor has been criticised for his criticism to the poor implementation of the signed peace agreement and continuation of the war.

Last February, Presidential Adviser on Decentralization and Intergovernmental Linkage Tor Deng Mawien deplored that the peace agreement does not enable President Salva Kiir to relieve Deng Alor saying that instead of defending the government political options and orientation he is still acting as a political opponent.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune on Sunday, Mawien said that there was no vacuum created by the absence of the minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation.

“There is no problem. No vacuum has been created by the absence of Deng Alor. The ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation is running its activities normally. The absence of an individual does not translate to the absence of the institution,” he said.

“It is Deng Alor who is absent. The institution is intact. There is undersecretary and are the relevant departments to carry on with their routine activities. When there is something beyond them, there is a presidential envoy on diplomatic and there is the president who is the chief diplomat. So nothing has been affected by the absence of Deng Alor,” he added.

The presidential aide claimed that the absence of foreign minister was a political strategy by the SPLM – Former Detainees group to portray the government as not interested in peace if the minister is removed from service.

The minister is reportedly is nowadays in Nairobi preparing with the other leaders of his groups for the resumption of the revitalization process which among others will discuss the security arrangement and power-sharing issues.

Undersecretary at the ministry of foreign affairs Baak Valentino Wol said separately that the ministry was running normally.

He said they did not experience any difficult despite the absence of the foreign minister.

“There is no problem. We are working normally. The absence of foreign minister has no effect”, said Wol.

The foreign minister has not returned to the country since he went to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to participate in the second phase of the revitalization forum.