Home | News    Friday 20 May 2011

South Sudan calls for financial assistance and denies political defection claims

By Ngor Arol Garang

May 19, 2011 (ABYEI) – The Government of South Sudan (GoSS) called upon the international community to to give them more financial assistance to help with its developmental projects at a conference in Juba on Thursday.

The two day development plan conference kicked off in the capital of South Sudan, Juba, in the Home and Away Hotel.

"The Government of South Sudan is committed to translating policy statements into actions by implementing development projects in all the ten states but lack of resources holds up efforts to implement them ", said David Deng Athorbei, minister of finance and economic planning.

Athorbei sais it is time the international community honours pledges it made in the 2005 Oslo conference, where aid was earmarked for developmental work in South Sudan.

"We have projects to be implemented in all the ten states but resources are over-stretched by the list of priorities. This is why we feel it is time for the international community to honour pledges made in the Oslo conference. We need financial assistance. This is why are holding this conference. It is a conference, from which we can identify areas of priorities for our development plan", explained the finance minister, in a telephone interview with Sudan Tribune from Juba, shortly after opening the conference on Thursday.

The conference also called upon government and development partners to monitor and evaluate implementation of various development projects.

Deng Makuac, a participant at the conference, pointed out in a separate interview with Sudan Tribune from Juba that experiences have shown that some development projects being executed by contractors, particularly in remote areas, were not properly supervised.

’’It seems that some of the designated officials, either from the government or representative from the development partners, are not performing their duties in monitoring the use of public and other financial resources in their respective areas.

"It is important for the local authorities from where projects are being implemented assist the Government of South Sudan ensures effective and efficient use of the public resources in their respective areas,’’ said Athorbei.

’’The beneficiaries must always remember that they have responsibility to ensure that the financial and other physical resources are used for intended purpose and not otherwise,’’ he stressed.

Antipas Nyok, secretary general for political affairs and organisation with the South’s governing party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), in an interview with Sudan Tribune, also described the development plan conference as success for his party

Nyok hailed the government for what he described as its "unquenchable desire" to promote and support various development projects, specifically in the security, roads, health, agriculture, education and water sectors.

"A lot of money has been set aside for the construction of economic roads and referral hospitals in strategic places that will accommodate patients. Some of the roads and hospitals are in their final stages of completion", he said.

"A lot of development projects are being implemented here [Juba] by the Government of South Sudan because it is going to be the national capital. So, we call upon local and foreign investors to invest in South Sudan because there is now plenty of opportunity for them to invest here,’’ said Nyok.

Nyok brushed aside recent media claims propagated by some opposition politicians that some members of the SPLM had contemplated defecting or forming a new party over allegations that they have been sidelined and marginalized.

These senior members of the SPLM accused of contemplating defection include Ismail Konyi, a former presidential advisor on peace and conflict resolution; Mark Nyipuoc, a former governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal state; Elession Ojetuk; and a former governor of Eastern Equatoria state.

He described the allegations as “absolute lies”, and stressed that whoever wants to know the truth about the matter should consult relevant authorities, including the registrar of political parties. "In my opinion, I think that is simply political fabrications aimed at tarnishing the image of other people,’’ he explained, reiterating that the party’s general secretariat is open for reform of the party for promotion of democratic principle for real and pragmatic political pluralism".

South Sudan will become independent on July 9, following a referendum vote agreed as part of a 2005 peace deal.