Category: National

Why the killer(s) of Isaiah Abraham will be very hard to find

BY: DENG DUOT DENG (DENG-Ajith), Queensland, AUSTRALIA, DEC/09/2012, SSN;

In any political environment there is and there will always be political assassins that tend to occur in every day lives. The tragic death of Isaiah Abraham is a political assassination and it is going to be very difficult or harder to find his assassins because it’s politically motivated. According to history, there had been great politicians with other popular persons being assassinated in the past around the world like Abraham Lincoln of United States of American, John F Kennedy of USA, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Patrice Emery Lumumba of Congo, Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan and civil rights activist and revolutionary leader Malcolm X. Likewise Isaiah Abraham was also assassinated in Juba Capital in the early of hours of Wednesday morning local time. These men are victim of political assassinations including Isaiah Abraham.

What is common from this list of those few people that I have mentioned is they are politicians. They were killed by their own people or assassinated. Lumumba of Congo was executed by the Congolese military which had the backup support from the Belgium government and the CIA of the United States of America. This is evidence because the Belgian government apologized to the Congolese people in February 2002, the Belgian government admitted to a moral responsibility and overwhelming portion of responsibility to the events that led to the death of Lumumba.

Such a typical killing like one of Isaiah Abraham case is a very organized crime that cannot be committed by a cheap person. For example, how do we call the tragic death of late Dr. John Garang De Mabior? Some people might believe it was an accident but I doubt, it was not an accident. His death was a political assassination that went beyond African capacity.

Look, the former chairman of Southern Sudan government plus others were selected to investigate his death. However, they never reported back to us as people who are waiting for their finding. These have let me to apply my hypothesis that the death of Isaiah Abraham is one of those political assassinations.

I think some of my readers will question me that Dr. Garang’s death is a bit different with Isaiah Abraham’s. But I can assure you that Late Garang’s death was organized in a foreign land. While Isaiah Abraham death is within the ground rules of South Sudan. I have a lot of things to justify or say in relation to this horrified death that has caused many concerns for South Sudanese around the entire earth as well as on social networks/forum, e.g. Facebook.

In this situation, many people including me myself made little statement about the future of this nation call South Sudan. From this perspective I strongly believe there are a lot of questions running in everyone’s mind which need to be asked. We deserve answers from the current authority.

As I was one of the people who heard the tragic news of Isaiah Abraham locally recognized by his parents, relatives and friends as Diing Chan Awuol., that there was an operation in Juba which had been carried out and conducted professionally to take away Isaiah Abraham life from us forever. This has caused some dynamic concern about the Generals turned politicians governing system.

Personally I am a person who sometime gives my opinions about the way our current government in all levels across South Sudan is doing things or governing the Country. I am really surprised of who is doing what? And what role is the government of Generals actually playing. This change game is not providing us with what we fought for all those years. Yet, we are not getting what we hope to find as results of going to the scrub land.

What is more, who are the current trouble makers in South Sudan? Is it the current police, the South Sudan Army common known as Sudan People Liberation Army referred to as SPLA? Or is it the National Security. Or finally is it insufficient individuals whose are to kill people house to house in South Sudan capital Juba every night?

It is really excruciatingly and unbreakable for people like me to believe that the war of liberation that started 1955 finished in 2005 when the CPA was signed would end up in this dreadful way. What was all those years of war all about? My answer(s) is short and sample, for basic human rights, freedom, like freedom of expression, not being torture without good judgment, and hope to have rule of law in place. That why the ministry of justice was established plus other court systems. There has to be a stage people who committed crime have to go through without killing.

If we looked at Western world today, fighting is the last resort. The same to South Sudan, killing should be the last alternative. Isaiah Abraham was the victim of no crime he had committed except tell our government that they are not doing enough job to satisfy their Citizens.

Therefore, I can say we are way behind and will remain way behind as South Sudanese in many angles. For examples, people like Isaiah Abraham who has the brains, the knowledge and critical thinking, we need them in this crucial time for the good of our beloved nation of South Sudan. He did his part like others who have contributed to this struggle movement since it was formed in 1983. Late Isaiah Abraham I can term him as a Nationalist who like his contemporaries, have capacity to speak out. He was hoping to change something from the current system.

Substantially, we the brothers, sisters and friends of the same nation are hoping to find his killer(s) and bring them to justice so we can really understood the motivation of his killing. I never knew that the current government would eliminate top officers like Isaiah Abraham and exceedingly educated people in such a way. The building of any nation is it resources. And who are the resources of the nation? The can be natural resources such Gold, Iron ore, oil and many more. Also there is human capital or resources. Isaiah Abraham was human capital or asset to South Sudan according to what he has done and what he was willing to do for the benefit of his Country.

Every culture in this world have it owns aspects, but what is common across cultures in the whole world is that parents usually told good and bad things to their children in order to be better mature up children. This is equally important in a political reality; criticism of the government is like parents telling their kids what is good or bad so they can be well propagated kids.

Now what type of Country are we if we eradicate our brave men like Isaiah Abraham. Many people assumed including me that we had learned through experienced when important person like late Judge Martin Majier, Thon Ayii Jok, Makur Aleiyou, were murdered in cold blood in political environment without even full justification of what they had done wrong. I think the same person in charged now was in charged at time when these gallantry men’s lives were taken away from us.

I am not interested to bring the past back but indicating what they have done previously was very wrong.

Does this current system care about the future of this nation or is it about the time being? Subsequently, the future of South Sudan is very hard to determine because if they assassinated their own party member, who stand behind them since the founding of the SPLA/M movement. He had never been accused of disagreeing with them. He worked for them and gave his opinions based on current issues facing the nation. In the end, the killed him in cold blood.

What about others who are in the opposition parties? No question, they will liquidate them without being questioned by any chance. The death of Isaiah Abraham has led to so many to believe the current administration is only caring for what is going into their compartments instead of the public interest.

In the last few days, many government officials such the Police Spokesman, Inspector General of the police Acuil Tito Madut and the current president of the Republic of South Sudan have promised the entire public that they will make thorough investigation into the death of political commentator Isaiah Abraham. This has been always the statement produced by high authority in any form like this. I have no hope of finding final conclusion with positive fallout. In saying so, an assassination is always complicated to find out the real killer/s so they can rationalize the actions into good conviction.

I don’t want our well-founded nation of South Sudan to go into international scene as a country that is well known for killing her innocent people. We are already identifiable as a failed state that does not meet the UN mandate. These behaviors are very unacceptable on international level by human rights groups.

In conclusion, the killer/s of Isaiah Abraham will never be convicted. The justice will never be done to please me as an individual. In my knowledge they will never provide us with full explanation. This is a high-tech organized crime by the authority of South Sudan especially the intelligence inner circle. Let’s make some moves in correcting the wrong things and go forward to transform the lives of our society in positive manner than causing this unforgettable incident.

Isaiah Abraham you will rest in peace. God shall be always with you.

Regard. By DENG DUOT DENG (Deng-Ajith)
Deng Duot Deng is a South Sudanese. He is residing in Australia, state of Queensland. He can be reached at email, deng_bior@hotmail.com

Labour laws and private sector employment opportunities

BY: Panom Koryom, RSS, DEC/05/2012, SSN;

The high rate of unemployment in the youngest Nation in the world where literacy may be 20% or so is ridiculous. There has to be a correlation between job market competitiveness and skills supply but this isn’t the case in South Sudan. There seemed to be job market competitiveness and little skills supply, especially for South Sudanese who seemed not to fit the private sector employment requirements.

Before shifting the blame to policies or foreigners whose their characteristics seemed to match private sector job requirements, I want to briefly expound on who’s fit to be called unemployed.

Who is unemployed?
Unemployed person is a job seeker who is actively seeking for the job that matches his credentials or qualifications. However, the person who was seeking for the job but did not get it and therefore gives up that the labor market is not opening up for him/her is not called unemployed but the discouraged person. This means he/she has given up and does not have any interests in the job anymore.

So that means there are two categories of people, the unemployed and the discouraged person, that we have to blame the institutions or policies of not having created employment opportunities. For unemployed person, the Government has to be seen exerting better policies that would create or avail job opportunities in the private sector for unemployed persons to explore. However much job opportunities may be available or created by the Government in the Private sector, there seemed not to be the responsibility of the Government ‘to make the cow drink the water,’ so to say.

However, it might be the responsibility of the Government to educate the public about job market and productivity. People don’t have to stay idle and expect to eat for the food will not put itself into the mouth. You need to fetch water, flour, firewood and do the cooking.

Living in the village is characterized by hard work either; farming, looking after cattle and taking them for water and pastures before you could enjoy the milk and meat. Anywhere and everywhere in the world, there has to be efforts put in to survive. This means that discouraged persons don’t have to give up for if they do that, then they have given up living.

So whose responsibility is this? Both the government and public must respond to each other’s call if we are to make South Sudan a better place to live in or make our people appreciate the fruits of liberation, independence and freedom. The Government, through public services, needless to say, has to make a call and people have got to response. This call has to be enforced by laws like it is done in Jonglei State; calling citizens to pay taxes of 100 SSP per year.

The questions could be: is the Government only interested in collecting taxes? There may be no obligations for citizens to pay taxes if they are not getting any benefits – jobs creation, security, roads, health facilities and any other social benefit – in return. All these are possible only if the law and enforcement mechanism exist.

As the old slogan says: ‘you can take donkey to the river but you can’t make it drink water.’ That slogan is the Government slogan. The Government slogan is that; it can take donkey to the river and make it drink the water. So the river here is job opportunities and people have got to work. They must be made productive or else our blood would have gone in vain.

Do job opportunities exist?
There are plenty of jobs available for nationals in the labor market. The only thing that needs to be done is to create policies that make these jobs opportunities available for citizens. There are some labor sectors where jobs should only be limited to nationals, period.

In Hotel and restaurant industry, waiters and waitress must be South Sudanese. The question of attitude and laziness doesn’t have to arise in the first place. An employment is one of the major conditions or requirement in investment policies and prerequisite before business registration. Investment law clearly entails how citizens are going to benefit from this Hotel/restaurant investment.

Selling food is not a benefit but an act of generating profits for the owners but the benefit to the Nation is employment. These sectors must employ only South Sudanese people of various qualifications. That one has to be a law and it is in the interest of both parties – the government and the investor who needs money (but not to create job for his people in a foreign Country).

Of course, when you are investing in a foreign country, it comes with a cost for training staff who will staff your business. People don’t cook cheese here but you can’t import a cheese chef from abroad either. You have to train somebody here on how to make cheese.

Once that law exists, it is now the private sector that will be soliciting for employees and not employees seeking for jobs, for there will be more demand for labor than supply. And this means even those who are still in the universities would even get jobs before completing their studies.

Each and every business has its own culture and what they ought to do is to create their own brands by training their staff on how to provide the services, how to dress, how to pose, how to walk and so on. There is no way a business person says he doesn’t love South Sudanese but he wants to make more money here in South Sudan.

You either love South Sudanese people and love making more money here or you hate South Sudanese people and therefore quit go invest in a Country that you love its people, period.

Not only in hotel/restaurant industries but also in driving sector, shop attendants sector and NGOs sector where the skills can be sourced within South Sudan, it doesn’t have to be outsourced, and there should be no law that permits that.

Once all these jobs are availed to citizens, the living standard will improve and this comes with responsibilities of paying taxes and therefore more revenues for the Government to provide social benefits without borrowing from anybody else.

So the Government needs to make decisions on this and enforce it. And this finally means there is a relationship between labor laws and private sector employment opportunities.

The writer holds MBA, degree in Procurement & Logistics Management and BA.
He can be reached through mpkoryom@yahoo.com

South Sudan’s new laws offer a blueprint for a transparent oil sector

For immediate release: 29 November 2012: GLOBAL WITNESS

NOV. 29/2012, SSN; Amid reports of endemic corruption, escalating security concerns, and delays restarting crude oil production, South Sudan’s new oil laws offer grounds to be optimistic about the prospects for development and stability, said Global Witness in a report released today.

The report, ‘Blueprint for Prosperity: How South Sudan’s new laws hold the key to a transparent and accountable oil sector,’ outlines the major opportunities and challenges the government faces in ensuring that management of the country’s oil wealth is responsible and open to public scrutiny.

“South Sudan’s new oil legislation contains strong public reporting, revenue management, and contract allocation requirements,” said Global Witness campaigner Dana Wilkins. “But laws are only as good as their implementation. The real test will be in whether or not the government follows through with these commitments.”

In July 2011, South Sudan became both the newest and the most oil dependent country in the world. With the oil sector bringing in more than 98% of the government’s revenues, South Sudan halted all production following a dispute with Sudan over confiscated oil shipments. The two countries have now agreed a deal for the export of South Sudan’s oil via Sudan’s pipeline infrastructure and operations are expected to restart shortly.

Since independence, there have been concerning reports of new oil sector deals being negotiated and awarded apparently outside of transparent bidding processes. No oil production data has been published, and it is not yet clear if exploration and production sharing contracts will be made public.

Building a transparent and accountable oil sector in South Sudan will require serious political engagement from the government, major capacity building, and consistent implementation of the blueprint set out in the new legislation. The report released today seeks to support such efforts by providing an analysis of the new requirements and making recommendations to address major risks and challenges. Key recommendations include the following:

The government should pass the draft Petroleum Revenue Management Bill without delay and ensure that strong provisions for the collection, management, auditing, and public reporting remain intact. [1]

The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning should immediately start implementing the requirements for transparent contract allocation, and for the publication of production data, contracts, and quarterly and annual oil revenue management reports.

The government and international donors must ensure that South Sudanese civil society groups, and oversight bodies like the Audit Chamber and parliament, have the resources, access, and technical expertise necessary to carry out effective checks on the oil sector.

“South Sudan’s new petroleum laws are a major achievement which, if implemented effectively, could ensure that South Sudanese citizens are able to see and trust in how their oil is being managed,” said Wilkins. “Accountable management of the oil sector will be critical for the long-term development and stability of the nation.”

/ Ends

Contact: For more information contact Dana Wilkins on +44 (0)7808 761 570, dwilkins@globalwitness.org and Faraz Hassan on +44 (0)20 7492 5848, fhassan@globalwitness.org.

Notes:

[1] This bill has not yet passed the parliament but is expected in the next few months.

_________________________________

Dana Wilkins

Global Witness

+44 (0)20 7492 5828

+44 (0)7808 761 570

dwilkins@globalwitness.org

twitter: @dwilkinsgw

Nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, Global Witness is an international NGO campaigning to prevent natural resource-related conflict and corruption.

Urgent solution needed to Sudan, South Sudan conflict

EDITORIAL: STANDARD DIGITAL NEWS, NAIROBI, KENYA, NOV. 20. 2012, SSN;
It is unfortunate that the ongoing conflict between Sudan and South Sudan has dragged on to the extent that the South can no longer meet its international obligations. But probably the worst hit foreigner in this conflict is Kenya, which also happens to the largest trading partner in this region.

The importance of South Sudan to Kenya and the regional East Africa Community (EAC) is too critical to be left at the whims and tyrannical tendencies of the Khartoum Government. After participating in the birth of South Sudan, Kenya has been exploring the possibility of linking the rich oil fields of South Sudan to Kenya`s yet to be built Lamu port, providing this landlocked country with a vital route to the sea.

This is if a railway line linking the city of Juba in Sudan to Lamu, an idea first sold to the Kenya Government by the late John Garang de Mabior then leader of the Sudan People`s Liberation Movement (SPLM), becomes a reality.

The discovery of commercial oil deposits in South Sudan has created renewed vigour on the Lamu Port and Lamu Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET).

It is against this background that the ongoing forex shortage in South Sudan should be seen.

Sudan President Hassan Omar Al-Bashir and South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit are old warhorses and commanders, but above all else, friends that know each other very well having been Head of State and Vice President of a United Sudan.

These statesmen stand on the threshold of history should they move fast to settle their differences on sharing of oil revenues before further damage is done to regional trade and the economy of this region.

We urge leaders of the two countries to iron out their differences over borders, oil revenues and the disputed region of Abyei.

Restore sanity

Kenya has remained a passive bystander in this conflict so far but should now step in, if only to protect Kenyan businesses operating in the Sudan, including airlines, commercial banks and other private enterprises.

The hardline stance taken by extremists on both sides of the negotiating table, should not only be discouraged but that other regional wellwishers, including Kenya should also weigh in, just as it has done to restore sanity in neighbouring Somalia.

We urge for speedy resolutions on such sticking points as the region of Abyei, which is claimed by both sides, how much South Sudan should pay Khartoum for transporting its oil and demarcating the common border.

In January 2012, the South shut down oil production, accusing Sudan of being somewhat economical with the truth about its oil, and the two countries` economies have been seriously damaged as a result.

The fact that the Sudans are reliant on oil revenues to drive their budget means these disagreements cannot be allowed without causing severe damage not only to the economies of the two but the entire East Africa region.

Interesting some 75 per cent of the oil lies in the South but all the pipelines run north. This means that the Juba administration must begin to think seriously of how they will build their own oil pipeline, probably through Kenya to the sea and still retain the Sudan line.

We hope that South Sudan will resume exporting oil through Sudan on by the end of this month if recent announcements by the country`s Oil Minister Stephen Dhieu, is to be believed.

In the meantime, we also hope that Kenyan business affected by the forex crunch will not pull out from the territory as preparations are being made for oil production to resume.

Eighty per cent of the oil preparations in the Republic of South Sudan are said to be in place and that oil production could resume any time soon.

Oil production

We expect the two governments to keep their word on the deal signed in Juba to discuss strategies for resumption of the production, which included modalities of operation both between the two governments and the oil companies.

This will bring an end to South Sudan`s economic problems especially the pressure as a result of the shutdown of the oil production early this year after failing to agree with Sudan on transportation fees among other issues.

Kenya stands to benefit greatly if there is a resumption of oil production in Sudan as this event will assure the country`s investment and business in Sudan of stability and returns.

There is a lot at stake in terms of employment and contribution to the country`s economy, to allow the Sudan to slip back into chaos and retarded development. END

Gold fever sweeps South Sudan ahead of new mining law

By Hereward Holland
NANAKANAK, KAPOETA, EASTERN EQUATORIA, South Sudan, NOV./9/2012;
(Reuters) – Taking a break from the toil of digging, Leer Likuam sat on the edge of a shallow trench, puffed his pipe and boasted he once found a 200 gram gold nugget bigger than his thumb.

In Nanakanak, a village of stick huts in an area that has attracted hundreds of diggers since Sudan civil war ended in 2005, Likuam find would have been lucrative but unexceptional.

Everything is luck, he said through a translator. On an average day he might dig up six grams, worth around 1,200 South Sudanese pounds ($270), he said. Some days you’re lucky.

Word of NanakanakS riches has spread. In the capital Juba, international mining firms are lining up at South Sudan ministry of petroleum and mining, aiming to get their hands on part of the vast, unexplored territory.

Officials say firms from China, Australia, the United States, South Africa and other African countries plan to apply for licenses when new mining laws are passed later this month. After many delays, parliament is set to begin debate on the bill on Monday.

The South voted to secede from Sudan, then Africas sixth largest exporter of oil, in a referendum last year.

The new nation inherited three-quarters of the united country oil production, but in January a row with Khartoum led it to shut down the industry whose receipts gave South Sudan 98 percent of its income.

The sudden loss of funds prompted Juba to introduce severe austerity measures, centralize and expand tax collection and explore fresh sources of revenue to replace petrodollars.

Oil production is expected to restart in the next couple of weeks, reaching around 230,000 bpd by the end of the month, but in the meantime the government hopes to pass mining legislation that will formalize the industry, let them tax precious metal and mineral exports and sell concessions to large-scale investors.

It will diversify the economy. The mining sector has great potential, Petroleum and Mining Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau told Reuters.

VIRGIN TERRITORY

On the international market, Likuams prize lump would fetch $11,000, an enormous sum in a country where the average teacher earns just 360 South Sudanese pounds, about $90, per month.

Likuam is not the only man with the golden touch.

Around him dozens of other Toposa tribesmen and women, festooned with plastic necklaces, brass piercings and beaded amulets, hack away at the red soil with metal poles and shovels, digging small craters in a boozy revelry.

Despite the morning hour, girls distribute crates of lager, sarko moonshine and pitchers of bitter smelling beer brewed from sorghum.

Many of the miners claim to have found nuggets of a rival size, or even larger.

Nobody knows the extent of South Sudan mineral reserves because the 22 year war prevented exploration.

The latest geological surveys date back to the 1970s and 80s, but mining officials say diamond and gold deposits in South Sudan mineral rich neighbors are encouraging. They describe the 16-month-old country as virgin territory.

We are neighbors to the DR Congo and Central African Republic so we cannot rule anything out. Geology does not know borders, said James Kundu, acting director general for geological surveying at the ministry.

As well as gold and diamonds, he lists potential deposits of chromite, copper, uranium, manganese and a belt of iron ore, which is often associated with aluminum. A lot of records were lost in the war. One report by a Belgian company was half-eaten by termites, Kundu said.

There is a lot of stuff here but people do not know about it. They are too focused on oil, said one international gold trader who preferred not to be named in connection with the as yet unregulated trade.

It is the best stuff I have seen in central Africa, he said, explaining that the samples he has tested show a purity of over 22 carats (91.6 percent gold) compared to around 18 carats in the Central African Republic.

COW BANKING

Locally, artisanal miners like Likuam are making their fortune, investing much of the money in the traditional method of storing wealth – cattle. In the last year alone, Likuam has bought 10 cows, each worth around 1,000 pounds.

In another nearby artisanal mining spot called Napotpot, Julia Lakalay panned the red earth with water she had carried two km (one mile).

The gold mining has completely changed my life, she said, swathed in colored beads and spattered with mud. In my village I could not even earn 1 pound. Now I am earning 200 pounds per day.

Merchants in Kapoeta, a local town of tin shack pubs, dirt roads and scampering goats, say the price of gold is inflated by the scarcity of dollars, a problem across the country since the oil shutdown.

In the absence of banks or an official exchange rate between the pound and the Kenyan shilling, Kapoeta economy relies on gold as a form of cross-border currency.

The main purpose to buy gold is to change currency. We buy gold, take it to Kenya, sell it to dealers, and buy more stock to bring back, said Kenyan businessman Junius Njeru, weighing a pile of gold nuggets.

It is in your pocket, nobody searches you, he said, describing the process of taking the gold across the border.

Miners sell the gold for around 200 pounds ($46) per gram, leaving traders a narrow profit margin for resale on the international market at $55.

BIG POTENTIAL

Officials hope the new mining law will bring this trade out of the black market and, by selling land to prospecting companies, eventually let the national and state governments benefit from the underground treasure.

The mining companies with 42 so-called grandfather exploration permits approved by the semi-autonomous southern government before independence will have two weeks to claim their licenses after the bill passes through parliament, which could take as little as one day.

Norway, the United States and Botswana helped draft the law that caps large-scale exploration licenses at 2,500 square km. To prevent exploration companies from sitting on the land, the law forces them to surrender 50 percent of their concession every time they renew their contracts, which will be variable.

Firms that find enough minerals to start digging can convert their license into a mining permit.

If you put them in a queue, there is at least 20 meters of investors waiting to get a license … Others must know that if they want something, they must come quickly, said Rainer Hengstmann, a ministry adviser working for consultant firm Adam Smith International.

However, in a landlocked country with just 300 km of paved road, Hengstmann cautioned it will take many years to get commercial mining off the ground.

You need a railway if you want to go large-scale. It will take time. They really need roads and power, he told Reuters, echoing investors complaints about the lack of infrastructure.

Ministry officials say two firms, New Kush and Consolidated Mineral and Energy Resources Investment Company (CMERIC), are exploring actively on their grandfather licenses.

But Equator Gold, a British company working on the CMERIC license, says it will still take several years to actually produce anything.

I think there is going to be a big rush to get land but exploration takes a long time, said Emma Parker, the firm chief operations officer. The progress has been slow but the geology is interesting. There is big potential.

(Editing by Alexander Dziadosz and Sonya Hepinstall)

Basic Salary Cuts for Government Employees: Who did it?

BY: Machien Luoi, BENTIU, UNITY STATE, NOV. 7/2012, SSN;
The Republic of South Sudan (RSS) shutdown its oil production earlier this year over dishonest distribution of the oil resource revenues with the Sudan. Oil revenues compromised over 95 percent of RSS budgets prior to the relationship breakdown between the two countries. Moreover, conflict between the two countries raged over contested border areas of neighboring states, particularly at Panthou in Unity State, a South Sudan territory claimed by the Sudan. Consequently, South Sudan economy went down drastically forcing the RSS to operate on austerity budgets.

In response to the austerity pressure, some states in the RSS immediately cut civil servants basic salaries. Western Bahr El Ghazel is claimed to have cut salaries by 50 percent while in Unity State basic salaries for civil servants were curved by 25 percent. What this meant was that a civil servant, who earned 600 SSP a month before austerity budgets, earned 300 SSP for 50 percent cut for Western Bahr El Gazel and 450 SSP after 25 percent deduction in Unity State.

Of late, citizens in some states began to ask why their small incomes were getting sliced. Questions arose on whether the policy that slashed their basic income was a national government initiative or respective states decided on their own austerity policies.

Latest exchanges between the national government and some state governments are a revelation that neither the national nor the state governments can clarify specifically where the decision to cut basic salaries for civil servants came from. They are now trading accusations.

According to the National Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) in their recent statement dated October 24, 2012, the National Government did not order for *any cuts in the basic salaries of government employees whether at the state or national level. Any state authority that cuts the salaries/wages of its workers is not implementing the policy of the national government. It has nothing to do with the austerity measures undertaken by the National Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.*

According to the Mr. Kosti Manibe, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, the national policy of austerity reduced *housing allowances by 50 percent.* The states of course have no civil servants housing allowances. Conditional salary transfers were reduced *except for elimination of job specific allowances,* while Block Grants to the States were deducted by 25 percent, according to the Minister.

It is not clear from the MoFED and Mr. Kosti Manibe what *elimination of job specific allowances* implies. Were these eliminated *job specific allowances* to special civil servants, politicians or who?

Certainly this is confusing and ought to be clarified. Maybe the states took advantage of such unclear pieces to reduce basic salaries for government employees. Other states may have chosen to use Block Grants for basic salary payments to government employees in their respective states. This is not difficult to comprehend.

According to the Minister, *States are free to use their Block Grants in the way they want.* Thus, if 25 percent of the Block Grant to the states was cut by the MoFED, in response the states can also incise the basic salaries of employees paid on the Block Grant to adjust to the austerity reduction.

While the national government is not responsible for how states use their Block Grants, states did not choose to cut 25 percent of their Block Grants, the national government did. If the states and national government were not on the same page on the issue, states that are using Block Grants for payment of government employees may scapegoat the national government for the lost percentages of their Block Grants, after all they could use the Block Grants as they wish.

So far, there has been misunderstanding and confusion over who cut the basic salaries of government employees. National government is obviously not taking responsibility. The states are pointing fingers at the national government on the matter.

For instance, the Deputy Governor of Unity State rejected assertion by the National Minister of Finance and Economic Planning that it is not responsible for basic salaries cut calling it, *a clear accusation against state governments.* The Deputy Governor said that his government lost $ 500,000 in 2012 because of the austerity measures.

Unity State previously received $ 12 million from National Government. That means there is 4.2 percent of $ 12 million that is lost to the austerity policy. What is not clear from the Deputy Governor is whether $ 500,000 is from the eliminated *job specific allowances* or from the 25 percent deduction in Block Grant to the State or a combination of the two?

At this juncture into the austerity measures policies in the RSS, neither national government nor state governments have answers for the deduction of the lowly paid government employees in South Sudan states. But who has answers?

In the light of this article, the ball is back into the court of the National Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to make specific some of the issues they tried to clarify recently with regards to the basic salary cut for government employees in the states.

It is necessary to shed light on this subject. It is painful to use the austerity policies to disadvantage the very people who are most affected by the economic downturn and austerity policies of the country.

Something is wrong somewhere as accusations between national government and state governments are indicative of the mess.

The writer is a South Sudanese residing in Bentiu, Unity State and can be reached at dhuretingting@gmail.com
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and not of the website)

What is the future of education in South Sudan?

BY: Both Nguot Toal, SOUTH SUDAN, OCT. 5/2012, SSN;
When South Sudan became an independent state last year, many people hoped that the new nation will change the marginalization imposed on us by the Arab in the north when south Sudanese were not allowed to acquire education as their basic right. This resulted in mass immigration of many south Sudanese to East African countries as well as to the Western world to acquire knowledge, and some individuals went and studied in Khartoum. The few individuals who acquired knowledge were not allowed to work in government simply because they were south Sudanese and as result many students went to the bush especially the graduates. The others who accepted the remained in Khartoum were forced to work in the manual jobs such as building and farming in government projects such as Gezira schemes in eastern Sudan despite the fact that they (south Sudanese) have degrees and Diplomas.

On the other hand, some individuals who were discouraged by the situation left their studies and went back home for farming in south Sudan, others became Muslims just to get their daily services. Despite all these challenges facing south Sudanese in the old Sudan, the majority did not abandon their studies even though they were not allowed to get jobs in the government.

In those days, there were some missionaries schools operating in south, where south Sudanese to learn English since it was not accepted in the government schools in the old Sudan. From there some students were sent for studies abroad through missionaries schools and +acquired knowledge with excellence that they could compete internationally more than it is today.

Last year, South Sudan got its independence from the successive regimes of Sudan through a struggle which caused 2.5 million dead and displaced thousands to the neighboring states. That means southerners have been in war for 50 years. What are we supposed to do as an independent nation with its own sovereignty and as the country that has just emerged out from war?

Are we going to change the environment that we have been in for so many years or do we continue with the same situation created by Sudanese governments against our innocent people?

After the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) between the SPLM/A and the Sudan government, South Sudan as an autonomous region which had some powers to run its state policies without consulting the national government in Khartoum, was supposed to see the issue of education as its first priority so as to eradicate the rate of illiteracy from our huge population in south Sudan.

In this case, schools are to be built in every state rather than taking children to study in East African countries which cost a lot of money. Instead, government should have encouraged the citizens by constructing Schools and hiring teachers from abroad if the issue is because there are no teachers to teach in the country till we make our foundation.

Unfortunately, that did not happen as it was supposed to be. Instead, those responsible in government took their children somewhere else leaving the country without good education.

In south Sudan, the children of the poor families are the one studying in the country, why, because they do not have the ability of taking their children abroad, leaving the poor venerable.

For how long will our children continue studying in foreign countries while we are an independent nation? Is it difficult for government to construct Schools? If yes, what is its duty as a government? Who do you think will construct schools rather than government? Is it the responsibilities of UN, USA, EU or AU to continue supporting us even after we became an independent nation? I do not think so.

Therefore, as citizens of south Sudan who has been at war for a period of 50 years and who have seen all the events happening during and after the independence of south Sudan, we should look into the future of education in south Sudan and work hard for the goodness of our young generation to enjoy the fruits of our struggle.

If government is ignoring the system of education, what do we think the future education will be for the poor people who have no ability of taking their children abroad? What does it mean to be an independent nation if we are not able to promote education in our country?

Since we became an independent state, I do not see any reasons of continuing taking our children to east African countries for acquiring knowledge, instead, government must construct schools and train teachers from all educational sectors to teach our children locally rather than taking our resources to the neighboring countries without benefit.

The money you use for renting houses in those particular countries and the huge amounts you paid in dollars for the school fees of your children can educate twenty people from your relatives and build modern houses in south Sudan.

Since government officials are taking their children abroad, education in south Sudan will remain without any progress, simply because they are the ones running the affairs of this new nation. For instance, the minister of general and higher education, if his children are studying abroad, what do you think the minister will do in this country?

Even if there are no schools for so many years, they will not see it as a problem because their children are not here in south Sudan.

Therefore, for South Sudan to eradicate the rate of illiteracy in the country, the children of ministers who took our wealth to the foreign countries must return back to the country and study together with the poor families. That will be the time when we will see a change in the country. If not, South Sudan as a nation will never make any progress in any aspect whereby our country will continue with this spirit of tribalism, nepotism and other unlawful things that an educated people cannot do.

As a nation which has just come out from war, we have to consider education as our first priority so as to change the spirit of tribalism and to bring our people together for the development of this new nation and build a prosperous nation that respects the diversity, makes a stable state and lays the foundation for a united, peaceful and prosperous society based on justice, equality, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Therefore, for South Sudan to be a free nation is to avoid ignoring education and to adopt a good system of government that can lead its citizens not to be the victims of others but to enjoy the everlasting freedom of this new nation, rather than too much greed for wealth and desire of becoming rich quickly due to low life expectancy.

Finally, for the coming generation to live free and to allow the development to take place, the leadership of the country must look into this problem; because in a country where education is ignored, tribalism, nepotism and instability will not end.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and not of the website)

The Lack of Growth of our Economy should be blamed on Foreigners who disguised as Investors.

BY: JUMA MABOR, NAIROBI, OCT. 18/2012, SSN; The issue of foreign citizens influx into the nascent Republic of South Sudan has been very controversial and it is not without concern that various commentators have in the past ruthlessly given their strongest sentiments about the worrying occupancy of foreigners at every level of our economy.

At the personal level, I have had reservations on the outburst against the foreigners who go and/or come to South Sudan for business related activities and this position has been motivated and inspired by the consideration that south Sudanese during their struggle for independence were and are still scattered worldwide and the host countries have and had given them the hospitality that they then and now deserved.

However, these statuses were not without some obstacles here or there but determination was the underlying factor that the south Sudanese had as they endured all manner of mistreatment that come with being a foreigner in a far away borders.

It was also during these difficult times that south Sudanese learnt that, besides respecting and upholding the laws of the host state, there were also limitations and boundaries that foreigners cannot cross into with regards to business engagements and other related activities. South Sudanese also learnt that, there are in a host or foreign countries areas of jurisdiction that are non-accessible to foreigners no matter their status in that country.

South Sudanese also got it into their different skulls that their political opinions no matter how extra ordinary and idealistic they maybe are non-consequential in the political scenario of the host state and therefore were never needed. These and other limitations were very much adhered to by the south Sudan nationals in order for them to avoid an embarrassment of deportation and payment of huge and exorbitant fines from the police to the courts although even with all the observance of such laws, 99.9 percent of south Sudanese who went to foreign countries will agree with me that each if not all of them parted with money to support their documents as was the common phrase from our closer neighbors.

What am I aiming at by giving this story? The answer is simple, when I visited south Sudan recently, I, without much hesitations agreed with those who have been enlightening the citizens of South Sudan that the foreigners are the ones frustrating the growth of our economy and of course with the help of some few national perpetrators who intend to loot the meager resources of our infant and virgin nation.

These malicious intentions are being orchestrated at several levels of our economy including the employment of foreign citizens in our civil service but first thing first, I want to share with the readers some of the industries that are exclusively owned by foreigners and they are making a lot of money out of these areas with impunity and improper regulations.

For instance, let us talk about the transport industry and I urge my readers to understand this sector as including the airlines, the bus companies, the mini bus commonly known as (Matatu), the Bodaboda Motorcycle industries and all other means of transportation of people, goods and services which are all being controlled by not less than 99.9 percent foreigners and it is only in south Sudan that you would wake up and before you get to your office, take breakfast at the foreign owned canteen, purchase airtime from a foreign owned kiosk, ask the foreign shoe shiner to clean your shoe, ask a foreigner to take you to the main road to access an Eritrean owned Matatu to take you to your final work station and possibly at the office ask the foreigner (your secretary) to give you your days dairy activities and at lunch time take the same route to lunch at Ethiopian restaurant before you use all the previous means of transport and procedures to get back to your house as some of our civil servants do not return to office after lunch.

Now, the bottom-line for all these chronology is to show that it is only in south Sudan where foreigners can be drivers at the transport industry like Matatu, it is here that they can also be conductors and it is even here that they can engage in Bodaboda business and operate small kiosks without any piece of license stuck to their mischief made premises.

In countries especially that are neighboring south Sudan, some of their citizens in one an unforgettable encounter paralyzed the government functions by demonstrating before the offices of the president and the prime minister for several days on the basis that certain Chinese citizens, in fact very few of them have resorted to retailing the china made phones along one of the infamous street in the city and this actions by Chinese were perceived to be an intention to venture into businesses that are preserves for the locals.

Secondly, as south Sudanese in the same country, getting your change after paying your bus or Matatu fares is next to impossibility because giving back the change to a foreigner is not mandatory or right but a choice that is entirely at the prerogatives of the conductor and as a foreigner, you should have persuasive skills if you wish to get some returns from what you have initially paid.

This issue has caused most south Sudanese teeth and other bodily-inflicted injuries in their encounters with Matatu owners and the police in that particular country. On the other hand, any business that is seen to engage so many foreigners as potential customers like some indigenous food joints bring a lot of competition between such business owners and their competitors and ultimately, the people with such businesses end up being murdered or if lucky, forced to close down their businesses as a result of perpetrated difficulties to get them out of the market.

Do not be mistaken, these are all nationals of the same country but because the other one is engaging in the business that attracts foreigners as customers and get for him/her more money than the competitor, then the alternative as to be explore to get rid of him/her.

These are the extents to which other countries and their citizens can go to block out foreigners from taking up their business sector. There is no slightest opportunity for foreigners to do any business in such countries because for one, the competition is too steep and worse enough, there are those businesses that are exclusively for locals and no foreigner can be allowed to register them even when they have capital and interested to open such businesses. These kinds of businesses are like the ones on transport industry that I have mentioned above.

Another abused sector of our economy is the hotel industry where almost all the residential areas in and around Juba have been leased out to the Foreigners as hotels and particularly to Ethiopians and Eritreans investors or so they called themselves.

The worrying factor with these kinds of business is morally and economically obvious for example, in every city planning, there are areas designated for business activities and those that are residential and this is vital because its preserves the serenity of the household safety as well as comfort and observations of family morals and stability while noise pollution is avoided.

In Juba, Ethiopians/Eritreans have constructed hotels and neighboring them are family houses and in these hotels, there are private rooms, restaurant, bar and all avenues for leisure and herein the house adjacent to it is a family house with a young girl, a wife and a father who can in a blink of an eye access all the activities that takes place at the hotel and either become inspired or traumatized.

This experience itself can have two fold impacts, one, it may destroy the moral status of our society as girls, young men and even house wives will find it easy to engage in immoral activities like fornication, infidelity or adultery and drunkenness because as, one Nigerian actor said, and I quote: Proximity is tantamount to accessibility.

I also think this can be used as stepping stone to venture into and overindulge in immoral activities by these vulnerable groups and citizens of our country.

Two, the peace, tranquility and comfortability that is usually associated with being in the comfort of your own home after a long day of activities is nonexistent in such neighborhoods as these hotels open loud music into the night for purposes of entertaining their customers. It is also during these times that the intoxicated/drunken forget their manners and caused havoc thus awakening or forcing the neighbors to remain awake as their utterances may sometimes sound unbearable.

In all these dramas, the funny scenario is that, unlike many business premises that operate in other countries including Eritrea and Ethiopia, every Ethiopian/Eritrean hotel in south Sudan operates like they are all five star hotels because the charges for both accommodation and foods are very exorbitant.

For example, you can pay a room for SSP 350 a night which is equivalent to U.S. Dollars 120 or so and I do not know how much this can be in Eritrean or Ethiopian Monies. Funny enough and again unlike other hotels in other countries, the licenses under which these hotels operate are nowhere affixed to the walls to tell the customers the limits and legitimacy of their operations.

Let us go again to another area of concern, which is water supply around Juba and its surroundings. I will only make some precise remarks about this area not because I lack information but because sometimes, it is prudent to leave some things to common sense.

Now in this area, the Eritreans/Ethiopians are the ones supplying water using their water tankers and again charging exorbitant fee to the locals. This is a project where revenues could be raised if the city council of Juba had initiated it and exercised the monopoly of being the only water supplier to its city residents. This can as well bring assurance as well as enabling the council to increase it GDP.

I am not saying private companies should not be allowed to engage in this business but all I am trying to contribute is that this is another obvious sector where easy money can be accessed by the city council. The private companies can initiate the same projects but it will only be left to customers as to which supplier they would choose depending on the charges and level of service delivery between the city council and the private companies.

In addition, I am not going to talk about the employment of foreigners in our government institutions not because I am not against the issue with all the consequences involved but simply because I have like many other colleagues who have previously commented about it, confirmed that the government has to the highest degree of contempt ignored this concern and I think it should be left at that as we all await the repercussions.

However, at this very juncture, I want to go straight to the way forward in the face of these glaring economic challenges.

One, the government and the people of the republic of south Sudan must know that there are some businesses that you cannot allow foreigners to engage in no matter their connections, these includes Bodaboda, Matatu industry with exception that the company can be owned by a foreigner but the employees like drivers and conductors should be locals.

Foreigners can not open kiosks, canteens in a foreign country, these are small business enterprises that are left to the locals who do not have enough capital to open bigger businesses, foreigners should not shine shoes or hawk in the streets of juba because this is absolutely prohibited and it is a bad practice for the country like ours because some poor foreigners can influx into the country with sub standard and counterfeit goods and hawk them to our illiterate population thus cheating them out of the monies and run away with our resources.

Secondly, the institution concerned with city planning must look into it that residential areas are separated from Hotels and ask those who leased their houses to foreigners to rectify their contracts in order to avoid the hotels being at the neighborhood that is meant to be a residential area.

The Authorities concerned with issuing business licenses must also ensure that all the businesses have their licenses available at a very visible place where any concerned citizen can easily see what the business is all about and for how long.

The ministry of commerce, trade and industry must also regulate on the prices of the hotels and other businesses because the foreigners are getting advantage of our people for most of them do not know the economic value of our money. If there is no law in place to control the prices, then the policy of free economy is being abused by foreigners on that basis and therefore the noble reason why the government should enact laws to that effect.

It is still in the hotel industry that I also want to recommend that, in every hotel owned by foreigners, 50 percent of its staff should be locals because this is legal as well as moral for the creation of jobs for our people. There is no way like it is now where a hotel is established and all its employees are foreigners. That only happens in south Sudan and something needs to be done and urgently done to save this situation.

Thirdly, the city council of Juba must take over the water project and revoked all the business licenses given to foreigners to supply water to Juba residence. This as I had said before can help the council raise enough revenues to initiate other developmental projects and help the people of south Sudan.

The private companies can do their own way but like in the hotel sector, the drivers and loaders should remain locals in order to create jobs for our population.

Lastly, the only modality that can be used to avoid this foreign exploitation of our economy is to plead with our government to listen to the voices of informed citizens like myself on what needs to be done to surmount these challenges and manage the effective growth of our economy and meet the expectations of our people.

In that order, it is relatively important for our government and specifically the institution in charge of registration of businesses and companies to ascertain the financial viability of the investor and how much it can contribute to the economy of the country and this can only allow the multinational business organisations and companies to come to south Sudan and improve our economic growth.

This can also be done in collaboration with South Sudan embassies and consulates abroad not to allow foreigners to just get visas and think that they are going to think about the kind of business they want to establish when they are already inside south Sudan. These are the kinds of people we see prostituting and hawking in our streets today and these kinds of businesses are not doing any benefit to the country.

In conclusion, I want to also urge fellow citizens of the republic of South Sudan to wake up and do something about the future of their country because even as we blame our government and foreigners for all our misfortunes and lack of progress, we have also contributed to this downfall by being too ignorant, lazy and proud for nothing.

Some people do not have sources of income and to even feed themselves and instead of going to work as conductors, drivers, motorcyclists, waiters/waitresses, shoe shiners, kiosk/canteen owners, hotel investors if they have that opportunities, we are just all over complaining about foreigners this and our government that yet we do not want to accept that we are also part of the problem.

And until we get this diagnosis correct, we shall never be proud of the freedom that our heroes and heroines sacrificed their blood to bring for us. Let us style up and save our country from being the breadbasket where the owner only ends up carrying the basket and the bread already been taken away by those who know its significance.

Juma Mabor Marial is not an economist but a Lawyer. However, they say, experience is the best teacher, and as such, his visit to South Sudan and seeing these happenings prompted him to write this very article. He is reachable at hussenjuma@hotmail.com

South Sudan Negotiating team should review its strategy

BY: Majok Nikodemo Arou Nyieth, RSS, OCT. 13/2012, SSN; A general consensus looms large in South Sudan, especially in the wake of signing of the Addis Ababa Cooperation Agreement that the negotiation team of the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) should review its negotiation strategy to address the hot remaining issues.

South Sudanese and observers worldwide feel the agreement is actually about the flow of the much-needed commodity, oil, which is badly needed by the two Sudans to keep their economies alive. However, the major issues of border demarcation and Abyie may put the deal in a tough test if they remained unresolved.

To the chagrin of many South Sudanese, Khartoum has managed to turn the territories of South Sudan into the disputed areas, of which the last are Panthou/Heglig and The Mile 14.

Since the two parties have agreed over the borders as they stood on 01/01/1956 in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the so-called disputed areas should have been referred to legally as the Occupied Territories. Because when a South Sudanese citizen or a negotiator representing him/her calls his occupied land as a disputed or a claimed one, then the territory in question is put in doubt.

So the legal term should be the Occupied Territories.

Experienced in international affairs, Khartoum lured the South Sudanese negotiators to reopen the issue of Abyie, whose verdict was issued in The Hague in 2009. The verdict clearly drew the borders of Abyie and stated who would vote in the referendum. Juba accepted the ruling despite some reservations, while Khartoum accepted the verdict but reneged later as usual.

Now it calls for the division of Abyie between Dinka Ngok and el-Miseriya Arabs. Tomorrow Khartoum will say no for the division and yes for the annexation of Abyie – a perennial brand camouflage tactic being adopted by Khartoum.

Regarding Panthou, Khartoum attempted to annex it by 2004, but encountered the fierce resistance from its South Sudanese allies in Khartoum. In 2008, Khartoum exploited the Population Census, which was a requirement for the holding of the referendum to annex Panthou and Majak Yeth (Kharsana). But with full focus on the referendum then, Juba pledged to settle the issue of the occupied territories after the referendum.

Like the then Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS), the fledgling civil society and media in South Sudan did not give the issue of border demarcation its due out of a false belief that our Western allies know where the borders lie. Yes they may know, but they exercise the moral equivalence as described by Eric Reeves.

Unfortunately, the mediators sometimes do not stick to the facts, but seek compromises!

Due to the experience in the international matters I referred to above, Khartoum now claims all the five areas, which all belong to South Sudan. It recently included the Mile 14. By doing so, Khartoum desperately eyes compromise, especially over Panthou. Hence, the Mile 14, South of the River Kiir, is another fresh bargaining chip after Kafia Kingi and Kaka for Khartoum.

Notwithstanding, South Sudan has the maps to substantiate the claim of its occupied territories. Juba needs what it takes to alert the civil society and media to educate the world about the actual map of South Sudan.

Instead of directing anger towards the negotiating team, our masses have to observe the following:

1)- the negotiating team should be encouraged to drop the phrase of disputed areas and use instead the phrase occupied territories. There is a sharp contrast between the words disputed and occupied, and,

2)- the civil society and media should take up the issue of the occupied territories to back the negotiating team through establishing forums to address the issues of the five occupied territories.

When dealing with foxes, you have to be one. It boggles the minds that when Khartoum insists on our territories, Juba keeps saying with good faith no they are our historic territories. It is time to take the ball into Khartoums court by claiming their territories, no matter what.

It is incomprehensible that Khartoum seeks compromise over the South Sudan territories, while Juba resists those claims in its own turf!

One believes our negotiating team did not compromise over the land. They had sacrificed their youth for the noble cause during the struggle. So to bolster their position, our masses should not sit in the back seat, but come forward to let the international community hear their voices.

The author is a South Sudanese journalist and reachable at majokarou1@yahoo.co.uk
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author and not of the website)

Public accountability absent from new Sudan and South Sudan oil deal

GLOBAL WITNESS, SEP. 29/2012, SSN;
Sudan and South Sudan’s new oil deal fails to guarantee citizens the basic information they need to hold their governments accountable for the vast amounts of money involved, said Global Witness today.

After several years of negotiations, Sudan and South Sudan yesterday signed a series of landmark agreements, including one on the terms under which South Sudan will export its crude oil via Sudan’s pipelines and port. [1] Both countries are heavily reliant on oil revenues and have previously fought for control of oil fields either side of their common border.

While the new agreement establishes mechanisms for internal information sharing and auditing, it includes no requirements for transit and financial data or audit reports to be made public. This lack of public accountability is particularly concerning given the allegations of high-level corruption that both governments are facing.

“Sudan and South Sudan’s citizens are the ultimate owners of their countries’ natural resources,” said Global Witness campaigner Dana Wilkins. “Yet they have been totally cut out of this new oil deal, with no way to verify the amount of oil and money that will be transferred between their governments.”

The fees paid by South Sudan for use of Sudan’s processing facilities, pipelines, and port will range between US$9.10 and US$11 per barrel, depending on the route by which the crude oil is piped out. Juba has also agreed to transfer an additional US$3 billion to help Khartoum fill the gap in its finances caused by the loss of oil reserves now controlled by South Sudan.

The new oil deal establishes a Petroleum Monitoring Committee including representatives from both governments and an independent chairperson appointed by the African Union. This Committee will be responsible for monitoring the operational and financial implementation of the arrangement. [2] Sudan and South Sudan also agreed to appoint an independent auditor to report on the operating companies and identify any problems.

Though the Committee and the independent auditor are potentially very useful mechanisms for building trust between the governments, neither is required to publish anything. Unless their reports and the relevant production and payment data are publicly disclosed, it will be impossible for citizens even to check whether these oversight mechanisms are working.

The new agreement also includes an article on transparency. However, this only requires that the Sudanese and South Sudanese governments be ‘mutually transparent’; each sharing relevant information with the other.

“The absence of real transparency—meaning full public disclosure—in this new deal could have long-term consequences for democracy and stability in both countries,” added Wilkins. “South Sudan has included many strong public reporting and accounting requirements in its new legal framework.

It is now all the more important that these are implemented without further delay. For its part, Khartoum should put in place public disclosure laws that enable Sudanese citizens to see how their leaders are spending their country’s share of the oil wealth.”

/ Ends.

Contact: For more information contact Dana Wilkins in the UK on +44 (0)7808 761 570, dwilkins@globalwitness.org or Mike Davis on +44 (0)7872600860, mdavis@globalwitness.org

Notes:

[1] Available at http://sites.tufts.edu/reinventingpeace/files/2012/09/Oil-Agreement-between-SudanSouth-Sudan0001.pdf

[2] The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement which ended the last civil war included a deal to split southern oil revenues 50:50 between the central government in Sudan and the semi-autonomous southern government. Though a Joint Technical Committee was set up to review the implementation of that deal, very little information was made available to the public.