War-torn South Sudan has banned the employment of all foreign workers, including those with non-governmental organisations, and ordered they be replaced by locals, an official notice said on Tuesday.
“All non-governmental organisations, private companies in general, banks, insurance companies, telecommunication companies, petroleum companies, hotels and lodges working in South Sudan are directed to notify all the aliens working with them in all the positions to cease working as from 15th October,” said a government statement, published in several newspapers.
After barely two years of independence, that followed nearly 30 years of war in which it is estimated up to 2.5 million people died, last December South Sudan fell back into the grip of violence.
The fighting started after president Salva Kiir accused his former deputy, Riek Machar, whom he had sacked earlier in July, of plotting a coup.
More than 1.5 million people have been displaced by the clashes, and the UN has warned that South Sudan is on the verge of a famine. About 50,000 children are at risk of death from the man-made crisis, as fighting disrupts farming and trade.
With the rainy season, many roads have been cut off and food is hard to come.
With a dry Treasury, and many South Sudanese professionals who had returned home having fled, the latest order might just trigger another of the country’s many disasters..