Cabinet Affairs Minister tells International Community to mind their business on corruption
Firing back on the United Nations Human Rights Commission report that accused South Sudanese elites of stealing over $73 millions USD from public coffers, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Hon. Martin Elia Lomuro, tells the International Community to mind their own business when it comes to corruption.
According to Hon. Martin Elia, South Sudan is a sovereign country and if the government has mismanaged the resources, it is the citizens who can hold the government accountable, not external forces.
“This country is sovereign … if the government has mismanaged anything, it’s only the people of South Sudan who can hold this government accountable, not external forces.” Hon. Elia said.
The Minister of Cabinet Affairs, who just returned from battling his own case on corruption and money laundering in Kenyan high court, claims that the UN Human Rights Commission is one of the international organizations that sponsors political stability in the country.
“These are the organisations that are sponsored not to see political stability in South Sudan and they will move from one thing to the other, from human rights to corruption, from corruption to something else,” Lomuro told the AFP news agency.
Elia has been vocal on corruption since June after his banks account were frozen by the Cooperative Bank of Kenya at the request of the ARA which presented investigative reports on corruptions and money laundering to court – two serious allegations that were later cleared by the Kenyan Anti-Corruption high court.
READ: Cabinet Affairs minister threatens to drag United States and “Cyber Criminals” to court over financial crimes allegations
Last week, the UN’s Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan released a report that the South Sudanese elites have stolen a “staggering” amount of money and other wealth from their dying population of 12 millions between 2018 and 2021.
According to the UN Human Rights Commission, at least $39 million was stolen within less than 2 months by un-identified officials and said such a high level of corruption is fueling unhealth competition among the elites.
“This plundering also continues to fuel political competition amongst elites, and is a key driver of the ongoing conflict, violations and serious crimes, jeopardising the prospects for sustainable peace,” it said in a report presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The Commission believes that South Sudan has adopted a “highly informal” system of oil revenue collection that has no independent oversight and transparency and that has given the elites a back door to divert the revenues that should be spent on development and implementation of the peace agreements.
“Similarly flawed, non-transparent processes for contract payments, procurements, and revenue are operated illicitly to divert non-oil revenues,” it said in a press release on Thursday.
Senior government officials including the former Ministers of Petroleum have been accused of diverting multiple oil consignments to unknown destinations and although many of them have built apartment complexes and homes within and outside the country, none of those who are accused of corruption has been held accountable so far.
In his own words, president Salva Kiir has accused more than 75 senior officials of corruption and said more than $4 billions USD has been misappropriated by the politicians since 2012; however, he has continually recycled the same old faces although things have not been improving since independence.