South Sudan president Salva Kiir and the Ministry of Petroleum issued an order directing oil companies to reinstate all former employees who were laid off and those that abandoned their positions during the outbreak of the civil war.
“Reference is made to the Republican Order NO: 25/2016 for the Reinstatement of the Civil Servants at the National and State levels who had abandoned their positions following the crisis in the Republic of South Sudan on 15th December 2013 A.D.,” reads the letter in part.
The dossier dated 28 October 2016 is signed by the Minister of Petroleum, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, and addressed to presidents of the oil companies including the Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC), Sudd Petroleum Operating Company (SPOC) and Dar Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC).
“In the light of this, I am directing all the Joint Operating Companies (JOCs) to reinstate all the employees who abandoned their jobs,” Minister Gatkuoth said.
While many former employees in the private oil sector left their jobs in the aftermath of the civil war, others were systematically laid off by companies when their operations were disrupted by war.
Oil companies have not yet resumed production in South Sudanese oil-rich Unity State due to the wave of insecurity and political unrest since December 2013. It remains unclear whether the oil companies will reinstate workers.
The oil-rich state has been a major area of contention between rebel forces and government troops in the recent resumption of fighting.
Heavy fighting around the Oil town of Malakal between rebel forces and government killed dozens of people last month according to South Sudan military spokesperson.
Malakal which used to be South Sudan’s second largest city, a bustling center on the White Nile River of more than 120,000 people, many employed in the oil fields nearby is now nothing but rubble.
Credit: Sudan Tribune