Home | News    Friday 24 February 2012

South Sudan’s Kiir forms austerity committee as oil row continues


February 23, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir Mayardit has appointed a fifteen member committee to decide on the austerity measures needed to keep the nascent government functioning after loosing 98% of its income through the loss of oil revenues.

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Salva Kiir (Reuters)

Seven month old South cut off its oil-production as part of fee dispute with North Sudan, which it relies on to refine and export its oil. The previous arrangement expired when South Sudan gained independence in July last year, as part of 2005 peace that ended decades of conflict.

However, since South Sudan seceded, the two sides have been able to come to agreement on a host of issues including border, the contested territory of Abyei, international debt, trade and citizenship for ethnically southern Sudanese remaining north of the new international border.

Considering their public negotiating positions Juba and Khartoum are miles apart. South Sudan says that according to international norms it should pay less than $1 for each barrel exported through the north and arguing that Sudan’s demand for $36 is unjustified.

Khartoum claims it is owed over $1 billion in unpaid fees and had begun siphoning off oil from South Sudan and impounding shipments of southern crude before it could leave Port Sudan, when Juba took the unexpected move of shutting down production altogether.

South Sudan denies it has not been paying fees and accuses its northern neighbour of "looting" some 6 million barrels, worth around $815 million.

However, South Sudan’s decision has been described as economic suicide by north Sudan and some analysts. The country is one of the poorest in world and is struggling address insecurity, tackle corruption, provide public services and respond to humanitarian emergencies within its borders.

The new austerity committee will be chaired by South Sudan’s minister of finance, Kosti Manibe, the president announced on Wednesday in a presidential decree.
Earlier this week Manive announced South Sudan was cutting in half all non-salary government spending with immediate effect.

Kiir also appointed Emmanuel LoWilla, a minister in the office of the president as secretary general of the committee.

Other members include:

  • Alison Magaya- Interior Minister
  • Garang Diing Akuong - Trade and Investment Minister
  • Majak D’ Agoot - Deputy Defence Minister
  • Oyai Deng Ajak - National Security Minister
  • Stephen Dhieu Dau - Oil Minister

The austerity measures already approved by South Sudan’s cabinet on Monday will not effect salaries among the civil service or the security services, the finance minister has said. will be effective upon signing by the President.

"The cutbacks are effective immediately and will ensure that the necessary funds are available for the continued operation of the government and security forces," the finance ministry said in a statement.

The presence of the ministers of interior and national security, as well as the deputy minister of defence, is perhaps significant as it is South Sudan’s security organs that are least likely to experience severe cuts.

South Sudan has a tense border with North Sudan, with officials from both sides accusing the other of bringing the two sides closer to return to war. Juba and Khartoum regularly trade accusations of arming and supporting rebel groups fighting their military.

Conflict in Jonglei State between well armed cattle herding groups, as well as insecurity on the border of Warrap, Unity and Lakes have all put strain on South Sudan’s police and army (SPLA), which until only seven years ago was a guerrilla movement.

South Sudan’s ruling SPLM was the political face of the SPLA - now the official South Sudanese military - during the two-decade civil war.

The decree also appointed representatives from Eastern Equatoria and Northern Bahr el Ghazal States.

Four state governors were also placed on the committee:

  • Unity State Governor - Taban Deng Gai
  • Jonglei Governor - Kuol Manyang Juuk
  • Central Equatoria State Governor - Clement Wani Konga
  • Upper Nile State - Governor Simon Kun Puoc

Kom Kom Geng, a chairperson of the public account committee, is also among the presidential appointees.

The committee is tasked with assisting the Ministry of Finance and Economic planning to determine what parts of government spending will be reduced. This will include establishing monthly operating and capital limits for ministries.

Functions of the government deemed non-essential by the committee will be cut or temporarily shut down.


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  • 24 February 2012 07:46, by Mi diit

    Good move president Kiir. Just make sure that salaries and allowances of your civil servants and organised forces are not affected so that there is no room for Khartoum to agitate our citizens to uprise against the government.

    repondre message

    • 24 February 2012 08:12, by omoni jr.

      Good move but lack the think-Tank like Riek Machar Teny ,
      Most of these governors are dumb and uneducated too.most of them are killers and looters,.

      repondre message

      • 24 February 2012 08:50, by Loko El Pollo


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    • 24 February 2012 08:16, by Majoknok

      Good job Mr. president,nothing greater than freedom.we did not die during strugle

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    • 24 February 2012 10:17, by Mike Mike

      P.Kiir is wrong by not selecting through the constituencies that representing at national assesmbly.Coz doing things without considering the right of the people at grass roots level doesn’t make sense.Now it is all the people of greater U.Nile that have Dominated the committee and other regions like BEG and Eq. were not respresented well.I appealed to kiir not to do things like that next time.

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    • 25 February 2012 01:34, by Anynya One

      This freedom we watching right on our face is not voted for by the people of South Sudan as a joke. This is a wrong strategy Mr. Kirr is down playing up on the people of the New Country.. Imagine the legislative Assembly created has no use! what the fuck is wrong with Tribalism!!!? Nuts & balls! Can’t you take an easy exmple of unique world figure “Nelson Mandela”, and become one?

      repondre message

  • 24 February 2012 07:50, by Robot

    the govt. should remove GXR V8 Cars because they are guzzlers and much money is spend on them, instead give them German made ’Passat’ the one introduced in kenya... and many more, list can go on in streamlining govt. expenditures.

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    • 24 February 2012 08:15, by Loko El Pollo


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    • 24 February 2012 08:20, by Loko El Pollo


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  • 24 February 2012 08:00, by Peter Malek

    Correct Mi Diit, you are not far from truth.

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    • 24 February 2012 08:50, by Ruach

      Malek.You failedt to understand Midiit.Read and understand it.It means When the salaries of staffs is cut,Kartoum will be to snatch our pple and destablize us.Maybe u can read it again

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    • 24 February 2012 08:57, by Ruach

      Oh sorry Peter Malek,I failed to understand u.Forgive me

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  • 24 February 2012 09:58, by dotcom

    Whoever think the president is right is completely dead wrong!!!!
    In all the countries i have visited, there was no anytime a president of the country would lower himself to the point of taking the job of a Finance Minister. The Finance Minister was appointed to execute reforms (if any) with consultation with the president in regard to spending and expenditures. Since the task of revenue......

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  • 24 February 2012 10:02, by dotcom

    .....structuring is a part of that Ministry, there is no need to form a committee for austerity measures as they are covered under the Finance Ministry’s jurisdiction. In simple terms, the President makes consultations with his Finance Minister and the Finance Minister executes a bill to introduce measures. no complication of like forming a committee without even economic background. this is.....

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  • 24 February 2012 10:07, by dotcom

    ...economic madness and another battle ground for corruption. well the so governors were really good as generals during war times but that doesn’t mean they will be good in managing finance, where don’t even hold a certificate. Something is worrying here and I believe the oil problems will turn the tide against us. If the president takes the job of the Finance Minister, he should ensure to.....

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  • 24 February 2012 10:12, by dotcom

    .....appoint right candidates with Finance/economic accreditations and solid backgrounds in managing country budget, not random people picked based on their military credits and loyalty. Everyone has to know that its the country’s future here at stake, not political or tribal affiliations. any wrong decision made will severely affect south sudan for a long run. The president has to know this or...

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  • 24 February 2012 10:17, by dotcom

    ...his dozens of advisors should step to the plate and show him the best way to get out of this crucial decision. we have millions of people in rural villages that will suffer as a result, neglecting them will condemn as to the slender that say ’we are unable to govern ourselves’. lets learn to be open Mr President and give jobs to those who has the right backgrounds or our problems in South.....

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  • 24 February 2012 10:20, by dotcom

    ....will multiply a gazillion times. remember that they’e our local people in the village that will suffer. we have shutdown the pipelines, which is good. but we need the right way to engineer ourselves out of the potential economical mess thats bound to engulf us, until the pipelines are open, be it through Lamu Port or anywhere else.

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    • 24 February 2012 10:53, by Land-of-Cush

      Mr. Dotcom
      You make good statement, but the problem here is, most of our politicians don’t access on internet and read all the comments we use to post on internet where they can understand their weaknesses, what they can do or don’t do.

      repondre message

    • 24 February 2012 12:44, by pabaak

      Dotcom, you are right, forming the austerity committee is one thing and the suffering of our people is another thing, so President should not just focus only to what to cut and what not, but instead to put more ideas on how to increase effort to create wealth to keep the development running, because we are not a poor nation, what is poor is the ideas to translate these wealth into reality.

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    • 24 February 2012 22:33, by panom lualbil

      Regardless, president kiir is right on such moves, as well as their outcome too. Of course, as south temporarily lost its 98% of oil, the government wont have other alternative way to continue services unless to cut from salary of its servant. Same thing happening in other countries when the government’s spending more [deficit] is than it collect from taxes.

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      • 24 February 2012 22:54, by panom lualbil

        For example you can watch TV ’CNN NEWS’ about USA’s economy where president Obama is now trying to cut rich’s salary into half. But our poor 7month old country cant be compare to others though. Life is still the same so civilians should be inform to deal with it like b4 till then. If kiir is serious, the new pipeline to LAMU will take about 2 years.

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        • 24 February 2012 23:25, by panom lualbil

          Or if it take longer than that, then another cut will take place too, till the president will take job of security.So if you think the president is wrong, give me answer of where to get money to pay employees? Or do you know how much money in the account of S Sudan now? I believe our ppl
          will continue to work without pay since they fought arabs

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  • 24 February 2012 11:05, by AUGUSTINO DENG

    I hate this appointment, because the same people are being reciprocated, and it makes no sense at all. Why Salva Kiir Miyardit does not appointed other people who don’t have jobs instead of moving the same people from position to position and they are already holding positions?

    By Augustino Deng. Jech la mer from Tharpam.

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  • 24 February 2012 12:17, by viper

    What a joke mr president!!!! Who do you think will execute these decrees of yours? How many decrees have you issued including your 100 days project that you have failed to brief us on it after it ended? Those tasked with this job may later misuse it and you will again forgive them without any action

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  • 24 February 2012 12:26, by pabaak

    This austerity measures are important at the moment, we have the committee to identify where to make cuts, but it will be also important to have another committee which will be responsible to identify developmental measures, this committee should comprise of south Sudanese economists, intellectual and university professors, be responsible to lay down effective measures necessary to generate wealth

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  • 24 February 2012 15:36, by louiskspez

    I hope this committee will work fairly and honestly.

    sexe toy

    repondre message

  • 25 February 2012 01:40, by Anynya One

    This freedom we watching right on our face is not voted for by the people of South Sudan as a joke. This is a wrong strategy Mr. Kirr is down playing up on the people of the New Country.. Imagine the legislative Assembly created has no use! what the fuck is wrong with Tribalism!!!? Nuts & balls! Can’t you take an easy exmple of unique world figure “Nelson Mandela”, and become one?

    repondre message

  • 25 February 2012 12:51, by Konan

    waaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha waaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha waaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha waaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha

    repondre message

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    04I5FhQD4kUGMRhxLKcqoP0eRTHyHussanyong actyon madeira plastica plastic lumber I discovered your blog site on google and check a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the very good operate. I just additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Re

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