S. Sudan sets new rules on entry of UN personnel, diplomats
30 July 2016, 09:58
Juba - South Sudan's government on Friday cancelled issuing visas on arrival to UN personnel and members of diplomatic missions entering the country, saying passenger names must be submitted for verification three days before date of travel.
Acting spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thomas Kenneth Elisapana, said the new procedures required diplomatic missions to seek approval from the Foreign Ministry before their personnel were allowed to enter South Sudan.
"All entries into South Sudan must be communicated to the Foreign Ministry at least 72 hours before arrival. The Directorate of Immigration will no longer issue visas on arrival, it must be through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," Elisapana told Xinhua.
He denied claims that the government was trying to restrict movement of UN personnel in South Sudan, claiming the move aimed to restore security in the war-torn country after fighting in early July between rival army factions.
"We are in a very critical time. We don't want the diplomats to understand us in a wrong way that we are targeting them," he said.
The new rules mean that all staff members of UN and diplomatic missions must get prior approval from the Foreign Ministry when leaving and entering South Sudan.
Several embassies and UN agencies evacuated their personnel following the recent violence in the capital Juba between troops of President Salva Kiir and those loyal to former deputy president Riek Machar who has ever since gone into hiding.