Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for Africa

Newsline: South Sudan Embassy Worker in US Says Went Unpaid for a Year

An employee of South Sudan’s embassy in Washington says the embassy owes him more than a year’s back salary — another indication of mounting financial problems for the war-ravaged country’s government. In January, South Sudan closed its embassy in London after not paying rent on the building for five months. There is no sign South Sudan’s embassy in Washington will go the same route, but its driver, Manyok Lual, suggests the embassy is having cash flow problems. In an interview with VOA’s South Sudan in Focus, Lual, 44, said employees of the embassy went a year without getting paid until this month, when diplomats received two months of salary arrears and local employees like himself received one month. “They say we don’t have money in the country, the country is at war now … and just hang on, when we get the money, we will pay you. And it is quite a long time without getting paid,” Lual said. Multiple sources at the embassy say the country has been paying its rent, but sometimes delays its payments by three to five days.



Newsline: Embassy staff accused of trafficking migrants in Libya

Libya has issued arrest warrants for more than 200 people suspected of playing pivotal roles in the country’s brutal smuggling networks. Those accused of involvement in the trafficking rings and of torture, rape and murder include African embassy officials in Tripoli, members of the Libyan security forces and the heads of the government-run migrant detention camps. Libya has conducted the investigation with help from Italy, Seddiq al-Sour, head of investigations at the attorney-general’s office, said.


Newsline: Former employee seeks Ksh. 45M compensation from Saudi Arabia Embassy in Kenya

The Saudi Arabia Embassy in Kenya wants to pursue an out of court settlement of a case where they owe a former employee Ksh.45 million. The former employee, Abdi Mohammed Abdullahi, accused the embassy of illegal termination of employment. The Embassy, through an advocate, acknowledged before Justice Byram Ongayo that they owe Mr. Abdullahi, who was head of research and a translator, salary arrears amounting to Sh4.9 million. The court also heard that the Embassy will start by paying the complainant Sh2.9 million by March 16 as they negotiate further. During the agreement, lawyers for the two parties, agreed to meet the Saudi Arabia Ambassador before the next mention date of the case.



Newsline: Italian embassy resumes visa issuance in Tripoli and Tobruk

The Italian embassy in Tripoli has announced that it will resume the issuing of visas from both Tripoli and Tobruk. In its announcement, the embassy said that it will be offering improved service and lower prices but did not give any further details. The Italian embassy is the only European state issuing visas from within Libya. Libyan visa applicants must apply for an appointment online through the Italian embassy’s visa processing agent’s website: http://www.fsglobal.com



Newsline: French embassy attacked in Burkina Faso’s capital

Four attackers at the French Embassy in Burkina Faso have been “neutralized,” the government of Burkina Faso said Friday. Both the French Embassy and the General Staff of the Armed Forces, the headquarters of Burkina Faso’s armed forces, have come under attack, a government statement said, and there are security forces on the scene. It urged people to keep calm and avoid areas where there might be gunfire.



Newsline: Philippine ambassador to Nigeria faces corruption allegations

Diplomatic staff of the Philippine Embassy in Nigeria are seeking the recall and investigation of Manila’s ambassador to the African state for alleged corrupt and unethical practices, accusations the envoy has vehemently denied. Consular officer Elmor Maglunsod filed an official complaint against Ambassador Shirley Ho-Vicario for allegedly violating Republic Act No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct of Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employee, and Republic Act No. 3019 or Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Some embassy staffers backed Maglunsod’s complaint, which they said was strongly denied by Vicario, who assumed her post in May 1, 2017 after being appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte. In Malacañang, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said Duterte was taking the matter “very seriously.” In his affidavit, Maglunsod also complained of “untoward practices” of the ambassador’s husband, Pascasio Vicario. “Throughout the consular mission, she claimed that she paid for lunch and dinner meetings with the Filipino community, bought gifts for certain groups, individuals, and companies. But the truth is, she never paid a single cent,” Maglunsod said. He claimed that Vicario “just collected all the receipts, certified it as however she sees fit, and reimbursed the receipts.” “It was actually the Filipino community who paid for the food during the meetings and gatherings and transportation of the ambassador during her tours,” he added. Maglunsod said Section 3(b) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, public officials and employees are “prohibited to solicit, accept, directly or indirectly request or receive any gift for himself or for any other person.” He also alleged that every time Vicario goes to other countries under her jurisdiction, “all the ambassador ever does aside from brief meetings with the Filipino community are shopping, collecting souvenirs, and taking advantage of people where they can gain profit and materialize their personal interest.” Embassy staffers also complained that Vicario is rarely at the embassy and would allegedly always overstay in certain countries during consular visits. They also complained of Vicario’s husband’s rude treatment of embassy staffers and his interference in embassy affairs. Based on her curriculum vitae, this is the second time that Vicario was appointed as political ambassador, having served during the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as envoy to Papua New Guinea in Feb. 15, 2007 until she was recalled by President Benigno Aquino III in Sept. 30, 2010.



Newsline: Sudan’s ambassador to Egypt to return to Cairo after withdrawal

Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour announced that the Sudanese ambassador to Egypt, Abdel-Mahmoud Abdel-Halim, will return to Cairo to resume his duties. This comes a month after Sudan recalled the ambassador ‘for consultation’, which was said to be due to disputes over the ownership of the Halayeb Triangle border area, and over the use of the water from the River Nile that passes through both territories. Talks between the foreign ministers of both countries were held in Cairo two weeks ago, followed by a meeting with both chiefs of intelligence who discussed bilateral relations and how they can cooperate on a number of regional issues.