South Sudan rescinds order chasing away alien workers

President Salva Kiir of South Sudan

President Salva Kiir of South Sudan has withdrawn the controversial order banishing alien workers from his country.

South Sudan Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Peter Bashir, said the order issued by his colleague of the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development Ngor Kolong Ngor in mid-September, should first have been debated in the National Assembly before being proclaimed as Government position.

“However, this was not done, and when it got out there, there was not enough awareness and sensitisation and, therefore, it was coded out of context particularly by the foreign media, and specifically East African,” said Mr Bashir.

The order demanded that aliens cease working for NGOs, Government institutions and banks, and private companies by mid-October.

Kenyan employees

Bashir, however, clarified that the order was not designed to chase away aliens including thousands of Kenyans. 

“South Sudan is in a post-conflict situation, and the neighbouring countries through the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) have been supporting and building the capacity of our civil servants. We need these people more than ever,” he told The Standard on Saturday at the Safari Park Hotel on Tuesday.

He said the circular by his colleague was in good faith geared towards creating work for the South Sudanese. “However, there should have been consultations before releasing the order, and the President has receded it for now,” he said.

He added that their private sector is nothing to write home about, and most jobs are in the Government institutions where Kenyans and other expatriates hold major positions mostly ‘capacity building’ the locals to eventually take over.