September 13, 2021 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs minister, Mayiik Deng Ayii has called for collective responsibilities to accomplish priority areas of the government.
- South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs minister, Deng Mayiik Ayii (Facebook photo)
The new minister was speaking at a reception held at the Foreign Affairs ministry’s headquarters in the capital, Juba on Monday.
Deng said the government’s top agenda is to implement the peace agreement, besides promoting and protecting core values and interests.
Such interests, he added, include national identity, national security, ideological goals and hard work to achieve and maintain economic prosperity for the country’s citizens.
Deng called for cooperation, honesty, respect, integrity, tolerance and commitment to diplomatic roles and responsibilities besides maintaining and respecting chain of policy and administrative responsibilities, saying they reflect the country’s image.
“I must say that as diplomat we represent a national identity and that we are beyond and above tribal and ethnic lines and affiliations. We have no direct political color either. It is therefore important we remain together and cohesive as diplomats,” explained the minister.
He added: Let’s me end by reminding you with the famous African proverb that if you want to go fast, go alone. but if you want to go far, go together. I therefore ask all of you today before we anywhere, we need to think about our priorities and plan our trip in the right way together and move forward as south Sudanese. In that way, I am sure we will reach our destination”.
While Deng called for unity and cohesion, observers say his appointment has caused mixed feelings among diplomats who feel his predecessor was unfairly removed and replaced.
A diplomat at the ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation told Sudan Tribune on Monday the appointment of Deng did not come as surprise but a confirmation of what has been circulating in the political corridors.
“I was not surprised when I heard of the appointment. Remember this was the person who could go on foreign mission as if he had assignment. Remember he went to Chad with the adviser in the office of the president on security affairs to deliver condolence on behalf of the government when the president Chad was killed. The minister of foreign affairs should have gone but she was undermined,” a diplomatic source with direct knowledge of the events leading to the appointment of the new minister told Sudan Tribune on Monday.
He added, “Recently, this same person breached state protocol and pictured with the Sudanese prime minister and the president. this tells that he was being prepared and it was just a matter of time before he was appointed. So, I was not surprised when he was appointed”, he added.
He further said the way appointments to the ministry are made has been the source of divisions and delays of salaries for diplomats serving outside the country.
“The way appointments to this ministry are made has been the source underperforming of our foreign service. The appointments are characterized by deeply divisive and challenging issues which have impeded cohesion which in turn has led to greater uncertainty and unpredictability”, he stressed.