All foreigners working in war-torn South Sudan have been banned effective from 15th October, 2014.

An official notice issued on Tuesday said all foreign workers including aid workers are to be replaced by locals.

“All non-governmental organizations, private companies, banks, insurance companies, telecommunication companies, petroleum companies, hotels and lodges working in South Sudan are directed to notify all the aliens working with them in all the positions to cease working as from 15th October,” said a government statement, published in several newspapers.

The statement also noted that organizations and companies should advertise the positions — ranging from receptionists to executive directors — so that they can be filled by “competent South Sudanese nationals”.

he international NGO Global Witness, which campaigns to prevent natural resource-related conflict and corruption, referred to the order as “disturbing”.

“It is disturbing that the South Sudanese government is attempting to expel trained aid workers at a time of a grave humanitarian crisis,” the group said.

“The decision demonstrates a total disregard for the lives of the 1.3 million citizens displaced by this oil-fuelled conflict,” it said, adding that the government “risks crippling the economy”.

South Sudan suffers from a major shortage of skilled workers, with only around a quarter of the population being able to read and write.

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