彩神8iosSouth Sudan to reduce embassies over economic crisis

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Photo taken on April 16, 2019 shows a building under construction in Juba, South Sudan. (Xinhua/Gale Julius)

JUBA, May 20 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan will close a number of its embassies across the world to reduce operational costs, the foreign affairs ministry said on Monday.

Mawien Makol Arik, the ministry spokesperson told Xinhua that the government is reviewing the status of its 39 embassies and a consulate in Dubai before deciding on the number to be closed.

"It is a process that is still underway and we are going to finalize it and come out with the embassies that are going to be closed," Arik said.

Arik said the move is aimed at reducing the costs of running diplomatic missions amid the ongoing economic crisis in the conflict-torn east African country.

According to the World Bank, South Sudan is the most oil-dependent nation in the world, with oil accounting for around 30 percent of its gross domestic product.

But after the young nation descended into civil war in late 2013, oil production declined from 330,000 barrels per day in 2011 to less than 130,000 barrels per day in 2014 amid soaring inflation.

The value of the local currency, South Sudanese pound, also depreciated and prices for goods and services climbed sharply, making life difficult for citizens in the country.

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