On the top floor of an office building behind the Euston road in central London, sharing premises with banqueting halls and the National Union of Teachers, lies the diplomatic mission for what is soon likely to become the world’s newest sovereign state.
“Some people are like, what? The government of South Sudan? Here, on the fourth floor?” said Linda Kot Martin, the mission’s information and documentation officer, as she wended her way through the maze of strip-lit corridors.
And it’s true that with just seven staff sharing the five small office rooms, each hung with twin giant framed photographs of South Sudan president Salva Kiir and vice-president Riek Machar, the mission lacks a certain grandeur. There is no official driver - the team take taxis, or the tube – and the mission’s remit does not yet even extend to issuing travel documents.
But with independence likely to be declared on July 9 this year, following the January referendum on secession from north Sudan, staff are not only anticipating a move to much larger premises, but also a pivotal role representing their country in a highly significant posting.>>>
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