The people of South Sudan would like to commend your sustained efforts to end their suffering and bring about a lasting peace that will set their hard-won country on the right path of stability and progress.
We are particularly pleased that despite your extensive global responsibilities, you have remained seized on the issue of South Sudan, thanks to your first-hand experience during your historic visit to the country a couple of years ago.
Excellency, Last month, you authored an article titled: Combating Corruption is about ensuring peace and Security, which was published widely in the media on September 9th, 2018.
In that piece, you clearly showed how corruption in Tunisia triggered a revolution against “a dictator who treated his country’s treasury like his own personal bank account.”
And if the world has known a country ruled by a dictator who “treated his country’s treasury like his own personal bank account”, it is yet to learn about a country called South Sudan that is being ruled by a brutal plutocracy – one that consists of both local and international thugs.
The modus operandi of this plutocracy is state-hijacking, possessing and extracting of oil resources to the exclusion of its people.
Here are two examples, among others, of what they do:
1. In July 2018 in a letter addressed to General Manager of Commercial Bank International (CBI PJSC), dated 25th, July 2018, the plutocracy made “a confirmed irrevocable commitment” to pay USD 299,614,428 (two hundred ninety nine millions plus) to Mr. Ashraf Sidahmed Al Cardinal.
According to the letter, which is enclosed herewith, the payment is against “good and services” which will be supplied. The first installment of USD 50,000,000 was paid in August 1, 2018 to the following account:
Account Name: Commercial Bank International
Account No: 2000193002007
Bank Name: Wells Fargo Bank (A major American Bank)
Swift Code: PNBPUS3NNYC.
The truth is that there are neither “goods nor services” to be supplied. These are just phantom “goods and services” and there is nothing surprising about such charade.
However, what the people of South Sudan find to be stunning is the fact that billions of dollars continue to be siphoned over the years from South Sudan under the watch of their greatest friend and ally, the United States of America.
2. As you were busy in September convening the first ever Security Council meeting on corruption and its consequences for conflict around the world, the man that reigns supreme in South Sudan, Mr. Ashraf Al Cardinal, was busy, too, brokering a USD 2.9 billion deal between South Sudan and his native country the Sudan.
This time, the racketeering was under the name of compensating Sudan for damages incurred during the brief capture of Heglig by South Sudan.
As it will be recalled, the Oil-rich Heglig is a South Sudanese territory but was used by Sudan as a rear base for South Sudanese rebels frequently attacking Unity State of South Sudan.
When these rebels were repulsed and pursued to their base, leading to the capture of Heglig by South Sudan in 2012, Sudan feigned victim-hood, and the Obama Administration bought that false claim.
South Sudan was then bullied and labeled as the aggressor and was forced out of Heglig. Sudan retook the town and now claims to have incurred losses in “its oil installations.”
In the midst of peace talks and confusion in Khartoum last month, and despite fierce opposition from South Sudanese officials, Ashraf Al Cardinal went ahead and brokered a secret deal that would now settle the dispute to the tune of USD 2.6 billion in favor of Sudan, of which he will get a 10% share, amounting to USD 250 million.
Uganda’s president Museveni will get a similar amount for “protecting South Sudan,” while the rest of the amount will accrue to Sudan with a tiny portion going to the South Sudanese side of the plutocracy.
The people of South Sudan will get, not roads, not schools, not hospitals, not medicines and not electricity but death and only soft death in the form of polluted land and water resulting from the brutal extraction of their oil and minerals.
Poor South Sudan, whose oil installations in Unity State including the only oil refinery were destroyed by the Sudanese sponsored warlords, will get nothing in compensation.
Instead, it will pay an exorbitant USD 2.6 billion for oil installations that were built by the Chinese for USD 600 million and paid for from South Sudan’s own cost oil!
Excellency, You correctly said in your article that combating corruption is not just about good governance; it is about maintaining peace and security.
You further added that the United States, as a country that leads the way in uncovering corrupt networks and holding those responsible to account, wants to ensure that corruption gets the attention it deserves.
Consistent with this line, and in order for peace to prevail in South Sudan, a demonstrable action against corruption needs to be taken. This demonstrable action must involve sanctioning and freezing the accounts of Ashraf Al Cardinal who is a major peace spoiler in South Sudan.
As we write, South Sudan is literally cash-strapped, with oil lifting schedules booked for Ashraf till February 2019.
This means the Government will fail to pay the civil servants who had already gone for months without salaries. And since the Troika countries are not going to provide funds for the recently signed Revitalized Peace Agreement, the already fragile peace might collapse because South Sudan’s money had gone to one man called Ashraf Al Cardinal.
Under such grave circumstances, the United States is the only force on earth that can stop Ashraf from softly exterminating the people of Sudan.
His bank accounts in ABN AMRO of Holland, CBI PJSC of Dubai and Wells Fargo Bank of the United States must be frozen. His assets in England, France, Holland and Dubai must be frozen.
There is no country in the world where one man, and a foreigner for that matter, sets out to harbor over $2 billion in European and American banks, secures more oil cargoes to the tune of 300 million, gets a commission of $250 million in racketeering business, and yet continues to walk free.
Sanctioning Ashraf will send a message to his co-plutocracies in South Sudan that there will be no safe haven for the loot.
The people of South Sudan have great confidence that you and your colleagues in the US Treasury Department will not let them down and that you will make good of your solemn promise of ‘uncovering corrupt networks and holding those responsible accountable.”
Attached is copy of letter from South Sudan Ministry of Finance and planning:
———- Republic of South Sudan ————–
Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFP)
Ref: MF&P/RSS/J20-D-1 Date: 25th July 2018
The General Manager,
Commercial Bank International PJSC
Festival City Branch, P.O. Box 4449,
Dubai Festival City Mall Crescent Drive,
Umm Ramool, Al Gharhoud,
CONFIRMED IRREVOCABLE COMMITMENT LETTER OF USD: 299,614,428
ALCARDINAL INVESTMENT LLC was contracted by the Government of the Republic of South to supply goods and services to the Government of South Sudan to the value of USD 299,614,428 (Two Hundred Ninety Nine Million, Six Hundred Fourteen Thousand Four Hundred Two Eight US Dollars).
In this irrevocable letter, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning confirm the commitment to pay:-
1. USD 50,000,000 (Only Fifty Million Dollars) in 10 (ten) days starting from the 1st. of August 2018.
2. USD 20,000,000 (Only Twenty Million Dollars) monthly from October 2018 to August 2019.