News / Africa

    Top South Sudan Diplomat Quits, Flees Country

    South Sudan diplomat Francis Nazario quit his government position and fled South Sudan.South Sudan diplomat Francis Nazario quit his government position and fled South Sudan.
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    South Sudan diplomat Francis Nazario quit his government position and fled South Sudan.
    South Sudan diplomat Francis Nazario quit his government position and fled South Sudan.
    John Tanza
    A senior official in South Sudan's foreign ministry, Francis Nazario, has quit the government and fled the country to protest the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, which he says has claimed more than 10,000 lives in Juba alone.

    In a telephone interview with South Sudan in Focus, Nazario said security forces in the South Sudanese capital regularly harass, beat and even kill citizens, including high-ranking government officials.
    I can't be in Juba while seeing people being harassed, killed by government security.
    Other factors that pushed Nazario to leave his country include the deaths of "over 10,000 people in Juba alone and more than that in other cities,"  the more than one million South Sudanese who have been displaced by six months of fighting, he said.

    "Since the beginning of the war on December 15, have you heard any of the opposition talking? The government is deliberately preventing media houses talking to the opposition," Nazario said, accusing the authorities of trying to control the message in South Sudan.

    "I don't want to be part of what's happening," he said.

    "I won't go back until there's a solution, until there's freedom, respect of human rights ...  Until you can say what you want without being harassed," he said. "I can't be in Juba while seeing people being harassed, killed by government security."

    Officials at the foreign affairs ministry in Juba declined to comment on Nazario's departure and accusations. Nazario has served as permanent representative for South Sudan to the United Nations and as head of mission in Belgium and the European Union. He is the latest official to quit the government and flee the country.

    On Tuesday, Richard Mulla, the member of parliament for Western Equatoria state, told South Sudan in Focus that he fled to Kenya because he feared for his life in South Sudan. Mulla said around a dozen other lawmakers - including members of the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) - have also fled to Nairobi.

    You can listen to the full interview with Nazario below.
     
    Senior South Sudan government official Francis Nazario speaks to John Tanza
    Senior South Sudan government official Francis Nazario speaks to John Tanzai
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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Francis from: USA
    June 04, 2014 10:23 PM
    Thanks Francis for taking the right step, your are the voice for the voiceless, take it even further to the civilized communities around the whole.
    In Response

    by: Abu Deng from: Oslo, Norway
    June 07, 2014 12:46 PM
    My understanding of Dr. Nazario's situation is this, on Israel issue, 1) he was left alone, when that vote happened. The RSS PR to UN and FM were not answering their phones during that crucial vote when he was seeking additional consultation.

    2) He was chosen, placed on the FM official deployment list, having been told by President Kiir he was the right man for the post, vetted (scrutinized/examined closely) and passed, awaiting his departure to Brussels as Ambassador - but a week later he was told, he would not be going, someone else would.

    Is this sudden change going to be nepotism, regionalism, will the next Ambassador to Brussels be another relative of President Kiir or someone from his region; will this person have the experience and gravitas of such a competent diplomat as Dr. Francis Nazario - for such a politically important diplomatic post - and will she or he speak French as well as he does, if at all?

    Note: Dr. Francis Mading Deng wrote the infamous explanatory note himself provided to his Deputy Dr. Nazario, who read the note that declared RSS in support of Palestine. Earlier in August 2011, Cabinet Affairs Minister Deng Alor, said in Cairo on 6 August that “his country will recognize an independent Palestinian state within 1967 borders at the United Nations General Assembly when it comes up for a vote in September” according to the Palestine News & Info Agency (WAFA). The RSS government has no case against one of its finest diplomats, who chose the honourable alternative: resignation - more should join this great man!

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