Corruption, Insecurity Threaten Sudan's CPA

By Tony Kago

Date: 5th February 2007

Monday 13 November 2006.

Nov 12, 2006 (NAIROBI) — Corruption, insecurity and bad faith on the part of the Khartoum government in sharing oil profits is slowing Southern Sudan’s recovery from years of civil war.

A two-day governors’ conference on the country’s oil industry was told that Juba, the capital of the Government of Southern Sudan, is still plagued by insecurity while the political elite in Khartoum and Juba were accused of waiting in the wings to pocket oil dollars.

The talks, held just over a week ago, were attended by top government representatives, MPs, donors, civil society and human rights groups. They saw the Khartoum government accused of keeping oil revenues for itself, of being secretive about contracts signed during the conflict and keeping the information on revenues under wraps.

This was the first soul-searching meeting since the January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that was signed in Nairobi signifying the end of two decades of fighting.

Both the national government and the Government of Southern Sudan were asked to lift all confidentiality clauses on oil contracts and to incorporate all state revenues and expenditures into the country’s budget and make them public as agreed in the the January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. But government representatives insisted that the money was on budget and had been disbursed.

Sudan’s First Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha (L) and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement leader John Garang show the signed peace accord at a ceremony in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, January 9, 2005. (Reuetrs).

The undersecretary in charge of the national economy at Sudan’s Ministry of Finance, Alsheikh Almak, said the share transferred to the government in the South from oil exports between January and August was $571.37 million, while for August alone it stood at $98.2 million.

 

The share has been rising steadily as the total direct transfer to Southern Sudan from January to April amounted to $348.81 million.

Mr Almak said the transfer for petrol revenues for May stood at $93.1 million.

But as the dollars flow in, the avenues of grand corruption are expanding. The reality of how corruption has seeped into the government was brought home by the suspension of five senior Ministry of Finance officials suspected of buying vehicles at inflated prices.

Southern Sudan President Salva Kiir suspended Finance Undersecretary Isaac Makur, Economic Planning Undersecretary Francis Lotio, Director of the Budget Peter Laany, Director of Taxation Micheal Abola and his deputy Tilet Plating over the scandal.

As the oil conference was going on, local newspapers were awash with stories of insecurity. The Juba Post reported that 23 people had been killed in separate incidents within one week.

The killings along the roads leading to Juba were attributed to Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) rebels. Cabinet minister Deng Alor was quoted as saying 15 SAF allied soldiers from the north and Southern Sudan had been arrested in connection with the raids.

In September, unknown gunmen killed 38 civilians in yet<

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