June 9, 2012 (WAU) – South Sudan on Saturday published an account of top-level government officials who have been contacted to inform them of an amnesty, offering them the opportunity to return embezzled funds.
- South Sudan president, Salva Kiir (Central Banking)
An estimated US$4 billion was taken by more than 75 government officials, according to a report published on 3 May and signed by South Sudan president, Salva Kiir.
Kiir’s recent communication urges the employees to return stolen funds “immediately” in the knowledge that their anonymity will be retained.
Funds are to be sent to a bank account in Kenya, with the account number 0810299067373.
At the start of this year, South Sudan’s government lost 98 percent of its income when, after a transit fee dispute with Sudan, it stopped all oil-production. Reuters estimate that this figure could indicate that the revenue from one in every three barrels of oil South Sudan has exported since 2005 has been stolen.
Austerity measures have been put in place to take up some of the economic slack but South Sudan is already one of the poorest countries in the world, as illustrated by its poor health and education statistics. Less than three in ten South Sudanese have basic literacy and maternal mortality is among the world’s highest. Outside the capital there are hardly any paved roads.
“This statement serves to inform officials named in the letter of the president of the details of an account to be used in case you have not been able to access it. The president appreciates your respond immediately”, reads part of the statement released on Saturday.
The release received overwhelming support from within government officials and members of the general public.
Secretary for external relations with country’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, Suzanne Jambo, commended the president’s “bold decision”.
“The time has come to put our new republic in order and move forward as a clean nation”, Jambo told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.
South Sudan’s Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin told Reuters in May, that over half of the estimated US$4 billion of embezzled funds was from the infamous grain scandal, where large orders of sorghum were ordered but never delivered or distributed.