6 June 2012
South Sudan will have its first anniversary as a state on 9 July. But because of the self-centredness of the country’s elite, it will have little to celebrate. It will be bankrupt by then. Trustlaw reports that estimated $4 billion of public revenue has been stolen.
The country’s senior officials have already helped themselves to its exchequer!
Perhaps they would be a congregation deserving of the address by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the Jubilee Service for the Queen yesterday about dedication to community and public service, from which happiness can be found.
This week, President Salva Kiir wrote to 75 of his cronies offering an amnesty if they return funds taken out of the country. The stolen $4 billion is apparently about 30% of total oil receipts allotted to the South since a 2005 peace deal with Sudan have vanished.
Those who allegedly fought the independence war for their compatriots have, in the event, left those 8.6 million people with some of the world’s worst health and education statistics. And circumstances are unlikely to improve soon. A feud with Sudan has precluded access since January to the pipeline through which its oil resources could be exported.
The President’s letter comments how “…once we got to power, we forgot what we fought for and began to enrich ourselves at the expense of our people.”
The country’s anti-corruption committee, obviously lacking the skills of others in government, has recovered about $60 million only of misappropriated funds. The President has written to several heads of state in Africa and the West for help to get the money back from his current and former officials!