July 7, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has accused former officials of “disappearing” with millions of funds intended for the first phase of planned upgrades to Juba International Airport.
- The new Juba airport terminal under construction (photo credit: Rwandair)
“This Juba airport [project] has taken our money since 2005 and the people who did that are now the ones shouting outside after having squandered this into their pockets,” president Kiir said on Monday without disclosing names.
“That time, they used to bring [construction] companies and asked for 30% or 40% down payment. All this money has disappeared with people,” he said.
China Harbour Engineering company is implementing the $150 million airport upgrade. The first phase of the 30-month project is expected to increase the current 2,400-metre runway by an additional 700 metres, with a parking yard and immigration offices also to be constructed.
South Sudan’s roads ministry is implementing the project, courtesy of a loan extended by China’s Export and Import (EXIM) bank.
“I hope China Harbour Engineering company will help South Sudan realise a world class airport,” Kiir said.
The young nation has not implemented any major project since its former rebel movement (SPLM) assumed leadership in 2005 following the comprehensive peace accord that ended the more than two-decade-long civil war with Sudan.