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South Sudan elites using oil money to fund militias and get rich, says report


March 5, 2018 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s elite is using the country’s oil wealth to get rich and terrorize civilians, documents reviewed in an ongoing investigation by The Sentry, an investigative initiative co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, has shown.

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A pipeline that transports crude oil from the south to Port Sudan (Reuters)

The report details how revenues from oil resources, the country’s main resources of revenue, are used to fuel militias and ongoing atrocities, and how a small clique continues to get richer while the majority of South Sudanese suffer or flee their homes due to conflict.

Since its independence, South Sudan has relied on oil for all its incomes, a situation that has significantly compounded the ongoing political and economic instability, due to the fall in crude oil prices.

South Sudan got the lion’s share of the oil when it split from Sudan in July 2011, but it’s only export route is through Sudan, giving Khartoum leverage and leading to ongoing pricing disputes.

Oil production in South Sudan has, however, been affected by the conflict that erupted in 2013 after a political disagreement between President Salva Kiir and his then deputy, Riek Machar, triggered war.

The war in South Sudan, which has featured the use of child soldiers, rape as a weapon of war, and mass atrocities, has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and has left over 4 million people displaced.

According to The Sentry’s report released on Tuesday, South Sudan’s state-owned oil company has been "captured by predatory elites" and is being used to fund the country’s civil war, including a government-aligned militia accused of human rights abuses.

Millions of dollars in oil revenue are being funneled from Nile Petroleum into the nation’s national security service, footing the bill for the war, now in its fifth year, says Global Witness, the report says.

More than $80 million was paid to South Sudanese politicians, military officials, government agencies, and companies owned by politicians and members of their families, according to The Sentry, an investigative group co-founded by George Clooney. The oil company made security-related payments from March 2014 until June 2015, according to The Sentry, which obtained a log of payments kept by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining.

Nile Petroleum has, however, denied the company’s alleged involvement in funding military activity and says the money is being used for community projects such as roads, schools and hospitals.

"We can’t fund militia, it’s not part of our job," said Yiey Puoch Lur, the public relations of Nile Petroleum told Associated Press, AP Tuesday.

The document titled, “Security Expenses Summary from Nilepet as from March 2014 to Date” (“the Summary”) lists 84 transactions spanning a 15-month period beginning in March 2014 till June 2015.

One key document, part of a collection of material provided to The Sentry by an anonymous source, appears to be an internal log kept by South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mining detailing security-related payments made by Nilepet, an extract of the report shows.

For instance, it says more than $80 million was recorded as paid to South Sudanese politicians, military officials, government agencies, and companies owned by politicians and members of their families who were, according to the Summary, paid for services such as military transport and logistics to forces implicated in atrocities.

It also implicates the South Sudanese petroleum ministry for aiding the provision of food, fuel, satellite phone airtime and money to a group of militias in Upper Nile state, one of the country’s oil-producing regions.

The militias, it stated, are reportedly responsible for destroying villages and attacks against civilians, including a February 2016 attack against civilians at a U.N. site in Malakal that left dozens dead.

Also mentioned in the report is the involvement of Interstate Airways, an entity partially owned by South Sudan First Lady Mary Ayen Mayardit, which reportedly received six payments beginning in April 2014 for army logistics and transportation of military hardware.

Another company, Nile Basin for Aviation, said to be owned by family members of top military and government officials, including the wife of ex-military chief of staff Paul Malong and a nephew of the current finance minister, Stephen Dhieu Dau reportedly received payments from Nilepet in 2015 for military logistics operations.

The spokesperson for the presidency, Ateny Wek Ateny, however, dismissed the accusations on The Sentry’s report as "fabrication" designed to damage its image.

“The oil money did not even ... buy a knife. It is being used for paying the salaries of the [country’s] civil servants,” Ateny told Reuters on Tuesday.

South Sudan is not looking for guns now, South Sudan is at peace. I don’t know why The Sentry is putting wrong stories against South Sudan,” he further stressed.

The US, the European Union and the international community should counter South Sudan’s "violent kleptocracy" by investigating top officials and imposing "network-focused sanctions," The Sentry urged.

The use of sanctions related to the oil sector, it also proposed, should also expand beyond designations of key officials and their companies, adding such a measure could have impact given the ubiquitous use of the U.S. dollar in the oil sector.


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 6 March 08:41, by Games

    Wondering why the country economy runs down very fast. Salva Kiir and his association are the worst groups in the world.
    Had never lives

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    • 6 March 10:32, by Rumbek S. Sudan

      Ateny Wek, which civil servants’ salary are you talking about? How come that civil servants goes up to 6 7 months without salary, the national army goes up to 8 9 months without salary? Now you are saying the oil money is being used to pay civil servants salary.

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    • 6 March 11:07, by jubaone

      Elites are a class or group of people who on account of their intelligence, skills, wealth or social standing are above the rest. In our case, these are NOT elites, but a group of thugs, thieves and criminals who use brute force to plunder state resources. These are natural born fools and scumbags who get their way from rags to riches not through hard work, but through ass-kissing.

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      • 6 March 11:31, by South South


        Someone is lying from Sentry because they are against government of South Sudan. Sentry is working very hard to secure presidency to G-10, but our IO’s supporters can not wait a minute to verify the news. Somebody from Sentry is telling lies.

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      • 6 March 14:40, by Midit Mitot

        Their elites is to organize how the country resources should be looted technically.

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    • 6 March 13:32, by Midit Mitot

      Citizens exploitation, South Sudanese would not surprise to read this since it,s something obvious from JEC government, diverting the public fund, mistreating civilians, raping them, burning them alive, robbing them etc. JCE president went to Nimule yesterday to modernize the revenues looting system. what a country is this Yaajamaaa!!!!

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    • 6 March 16:58, by garrak1520

      You exploit natural resources to serve the need of the country and people (schools, hospitals, infrastructure, running water, power, salaries of civil servants; etc,. comparing South Sudan of 2005 and now you can conclude the latter isn’t true therefor revenues from oil fund its army and keep cronies singing. Will they (Kiir and cronies) be lucky enough to enjoy the money, time will tell.

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  • 6 March 08:47, by Games

    I love Sentry and keep exposing those idiots out there for playing with our citizens lives

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    • 6 March 10:19, by Kush Natives

      You know well thugs, all rubbish,nonsense and lies make dance like a wolf. What’s the evidence here? The transactions summary only mentioned security expenses, but didn’t mention or summarize any funds that paid to militias. Now,we asked you to provide more and accurate evidence, this evidence is totally dead.

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      • 6 March 13:27, by Games

        Kush Natives
        You have reason like a normal person today.. Well, for this Sentry report, all the evidences are overwhelmingly in the article. The article had illustrated everythings we need to know about where the funds went..The names of the individually who actually have involved in the corruptions are in the article. When the funds were used were well evident in the article. The equipments they

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        • 6 March 13:30, by Games

          The equipments and substances they spent the funds on were well evident in the article. So what further more evidence do you need from Sentry?

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  • 6 March 10:42, by deng

    Dear All.
    I know one thing in country the way of governance, the destruction, death was caused by SPLM/SPLA, IO, IG and whatever they call themselves I mean all rebels and government alike are killing people for resources who will control them. they are not fighting because they want to change and develop the country.

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  • 6 March 11:57, by EastSudanisHeaven

    The Sentry report Forgot to mention the Financial and Political corruption in Western Countries.
    Is the US Mr Clooney FREE of Corruption ?
    The US financed the forcible separation of Sudan.
    African Leaders are not the only thieves they are part of a bigger Global Theivery Networks and the Trioka countries are included.
    Clean your own mess in your own Backyards first.And we will clean ours.

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    • 6 March 12:05, by jubaone

      The West are equally corrupt. But at least their people don’t starve to death bcoz of missing state resources resulting into poor education, health services etc. In SS, people are dying and the thugs walk freely unchallenged.

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      • 6 March 12:35, by South South


        There is corruption in South Sudan, we all know that, but we are talking about it everyday. It shows that we will find the best way to get rid of it. We are not like fake Arabs of Sudan. They have huge corruption, but the don’t talk about it. You can just see congressmen in US when they are elected, they are poor, but when their terms end, they go home with millions of dollars.

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  • 6 March 12:29, by Garang Akeen Tong

    We said this several times, that US, EU, and UN agency, and theirs NGOS are for regime change through theirs fucken and false accusesation.

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  • 6 March 12:47, by Political Affairs Advisor

    You people need to understand this, since the first days of South Sudan crisis outbreak, it become very clear that the country lost it direction and vision. Even if you tried to bark like dogs in defend of this non-egalitarian regime because of expectation of something to get or because you got your uncle in it system as a minister, still this government is fading away. sentry is telling the truth

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    • 6 March 13:34, by South South

      Rebels are running crazy these days. They think international community will help them to top government of South Sudan. This is what we told them before not to run to bushes and start useless war which they can not win.Rebellion has been crushed. Keep crying losers.

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      • 6 March 13:51, by Political Affairs Advisor

        It must not be the real state of your mind fellow citizen. you think if you win this war or Opposition won it will grant you peaceful living? Don’t go crazy my dear, just pray that we can understand each other and be able to hold our hands together for any change we imagine for our country to become like Dubai where leaders put in efforts of mindful thinking to develop their nation.

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  • 6 March 12:59, by Sunday Junup

    Juba is caught red handed! THE REPORT IS VERY CLEAR no need to cry yeah Ateny Wek Ateny

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  • 6 March 15:37, by Lenin Bull

    You fools who have been carried away by this fake concocted stories by American CIA George Clooney and John Prenderass you have no brain of your own. US army has the highest budget in the US and no body question that including these scoundrels disturbing South Sudan here in this Sudantribune every now and then. They have a gut to call our national army MILITIAS!! This is insult to our intelligence

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  • 6 March 15:41, by Lenin Bull

    You South Sudanese idiots joining the bandwagon of these businessmen being paid to blackmail South Sudan government should first compare the way Americans love their country, president, army, institutions, etc and your own attitude towards your very own under the sun. South Sudan is not all wrong neither is the government. These racists are not happy that our independent Republic of South Sudan

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  • 6 March 15:46, by Lenin Bull

    has made us black people of South Sudan to become quickly rich, proud, free and dignified. This is paining and shaming them. Look now how many white girls kissing South Sudanese boys, how many people are flocking to South Sudan for wealth chasing!! Arabs and their Americans and British firends/strategists are not happy and they want to nup at the bud. Learn what Americans and British are planning

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  • 6 March 15:50, by Lenin Bull

    currently secretly together with their Arab friends in Khartoum: CONSPIRACY against South Sudan government and people. Sudan is the worst place on earth where leaders are criminal terrorists war crminals, genocidaires, and Americans and British have no problem with that. Though mistakes might have been in South Sudan by some people in government, still let us respect our country and its government

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  • 6 March 16:00, by Lenin Bull

    Destroy the government in Juba today and you have no country and no government and thsi will make South Sudan to be divided like a piece of hot cake by neighboring countries that are jealous because of our riches/natural wealth. Take care and be mature intellectually and academically.

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  • 6 March 16:07, by Lenin Bull

    Million congratulations to comrade Dr.Adwok Nyaba. He displayed rare intelligence and academic intellectuality today in his opinion published by Radio Tamazuj. Read it for your self. I like it and I like Dr.Adwok. Let these idiots and criminals in forms of Former detainees be left alone. They looted the country and destroyed the SPLM and foxily blamed it Kiir!!

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    • 6 March 18:40, by jubaone

      Lenin Fool,
      Dr. Peter Nyaba’s assertion is false and stupid. If the HLRF did not and won’t invite Riak as signatory to the ARCISS 2015, why on earth must we have the kiirminal who is also signatory? You can’t have one without the other. Either both are present or not. Period. Dr Nyaba is old and tired and his opinion here is ludicrous. He is part of this mess.

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      • 6 March 18:49, by jubaone

        The kiirminal is not immortal and one day he will die. Like Sadam Hussein who had golden water taps in his palaces but was then pulled out a culvert like a stray dog. Gadafi after his demise was apparently sodomised. Our bitterness towards this kiirminal is unlimited. Our people will destroy his houses and grave one day. May our God curse his family.

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  • 6 March 17:36, by lino

    Corruption is all around the world, but in South Sudan is very strange!!! Government officials around the world take bonuses from projects home and the not the project budgets.
    South Sudanese take the whole money thinking it is a cow being milked, and tomorrow the same amount of milk will be there, but they are completely wrong!!! It is money and money doesn’t grow on trees!!!

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    • 6 March 17:41, by lino

      In general corruption should not be tolerated what so ever. It was one of the reason South Sudanese took up arms against Khartoum Regimes, but we come back and implement the same policies against our people and the country!!!

      repondre message

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