US agency challenges South Sudanese President Kiir to fight graft

Friday June 17 2016

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir. PHOTO | FILE

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir. PHOTO | FILE 

By JOSEPH ODUHA

A US-based rights group agency has urged the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir to keep his promises to fight corruption and ensure the recovery of all the stolen public funds.

The Enough Project issued a statement following the sentencing to life imprisonment of 16 senior South Sudan government officials for stealing $14 million.

Although the international agency lauded President Kiir for the recent efforts to fight graft, it said such measures amounted to nought unless the stolen public funds were recovered.

“The public money which has been stolen over the years by his officials should be returned,” the agency said.

Most of the loot from South Sudan ended up in foreign banks in the US, the UK, Australia and the Kenya, according to Enough Project.

President Kiir in 2012 called for global support to recover assets stolen by South Sudanese elites and deposited in foreign bank accounts, or spent on purchasing properties in foreign countries.

However, Enough Project said there was no effective implementation of President Kiir’s words, leaving the situation unchanged to date.

The agency further advised President Kiir to demonstrate his commitment by giving autonomy and support to the domestic institutions charged with fighting corruption.

The agency also recommended to the president to spearhead and fully support an independent audit of government departments suspected of massive theft of funds, both before and during the conflict, including his own office.