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South Sudan lawmakers pass anti-corruption act

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South Sudan lawmakers pass anti-corruption act
Tuesday 24 March 2009.

By Isaac Vuni

March  23,  2009 (JUBA) — The Anti-corruption Act today passed unanimously with  the  votes  of  eighty-nine lawmakers and the support of the cabinet minister of legal affairs and constitutional development, who is empowered to  implement  the  policy  of  zero-tolerance  for corruption declared by President Salva Kiir Mayardit in 2006.

Hon. Speaker James Wani Igga described the act as being second only to the
interim  constitution  of  Southern  Sudan  in  terms  of  priorities  and
emphasized the act would empower a commission of anti-corruption officials to  enter  any  government  institutions  without  prior notice to conduct investigations   on  government  officials  suspected  of  looting  public properties and funds.

Earlier,  Hon.  Jimmy  Wongo Miji (USAP, Morobo constituency), chairman of the  specialized  committee  on  public accounts, had urged legislators to
pass  the  bill  in  its third and final reading so that looters of public
fund  and  properties  can  be  legally apprehended by the anti-corruption
commission officials.

Meanwhile, Hon. Oliver Mori Benjamin challenged parliament to be exemplary to  other  institutions  by  not  condoning corruption, demanding that the assembly account including funds for chairpersons and deputies be audited.

“We  have  passed  many  vital  Acts  but  our  executive are reluctant in
implementing them; probably they assume themselves to be above lawmakers,”
remarked Hon. Martin Aligo.

Critics  note  there  is little to celebrate as the August House is at the
center  of promoting corruption. Hon. Sebit Abe said corruption is rampant
in  the  south  but  requires  serious  action  by the new anti-corruption
commission without nepotism or favouritism.

He  challenged party leaders to crosscheck performance of their MPs and
their  respective  contributions to debate in the assembly on vital topics
of national deliberation; otherwise, he warned, some MPs are only going to
earn huge salaries without properly presenting their people and parties.

Written by torit1955

March 24, 2009 at 8:55 am

Posted in Corruption

GOSS Extravagant Spending in the Past Three Years

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SPLM Show-off Disbursement, Extravagance

By:Helen Anderw

News reports published that the GoSS Minister of Finance said that there is already a laid down intention by his government to evacuate officials living in expensive hotels around Juba using government money.

According to the Minister, every official living in one of those hotels spends at least US$150 per day and that GoSS will no longer pay those officials’ bills.

Considering that those officials were accommodated in Juba hotels since 2005 with at least US$150 per day for each, that means that about one official cost the GoSS since 2005 about US$219,000 (equivalent to SDG438,000,000).
You just imagine the benefit of such a big amount of money to the normal citizen in the south if it is utilized in providing basic health, education, medical services!

Regrettably GoSS step should have been taken early enough and before wasting all these millions in such a show-off disbursement.
GoSS should have concentrated on providing its citizens with the basic services instead spending money in celebrations or other luxuries.
GoSS should direct its limited resources toward productive activities.
Southern Sudan needs development, reconstruction and basic services after all the years of the civil war.

But instead GoSS is adopting the show-off disbursement and directing the resources in the government organs through accommodating its ministers and legislators in Juba hotels costing thousands of dollars daily.
The latest news infiltrated from the south is that GoSS has allocated US$24 million to organize the CPA Fifth Anniversary celebrations which will take place in Malaka

Written by torit1955

January 17, 2009 at 10:22 am

Posted in Corruption

Tagged with , , ,

Frontier spirit embraces risks of south Sudan

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By Javier Blas and William Wallis
Financial Times (UK) 10 jan
There are few regions in Africa as remote and undeveloped as southern
Sudan. Unity state, where Philippe Heilberg says he has secured a huge
tract of arable land, is inaccessible even by south Sudan’s standards.
Aside from AK-47s, it was deprived of most of the trappings of the
modern world. Even a road network that has been under construction since
2005, when a peace agreement ended the long civil war between the
predominately Muslim north and the Christian and animist south of the
country, has yet to reach it. But Unity state does border the White Nile
and its flat, arable land could, with billions of dollars of investment
in irrigation and roads, be transformed into a world-class bread basket.
As commodity prices spiked last year, Gulf countries poured hundreds of
millions of dollars into securing land in the fertile Nile valley
farther north to grow food crops for exporting home.
Mr Heilberg is convinced that demand for land is now gravitating south.
Other experts say investors are scouting out opportunities in the south,
albeit on a far less ambitious scale. That is despite imprecise land
laws and the risk of a new civil war should the oil-rich south vote for
independence in a planned referendum in 2011.
Mr Heilberg has experience in commodities markets on Wall Street and in
Asia. To help him as he looks for opportunities in Africa, he has pulled
together a board at his US-based investment vehicle, Jarch Capital,
which includes Middle East, Africa and security experts with years of
experience at the Pentagon, CIA, White House and state department.
He is of a resurgent class of western businessman drawn to the potential
of Africa’s remaining frontiers, who have been energised by Asia’s
appetite for the continent’s natural resources.
Sudan experts familiar with his business strategy liken him to
buccaneering capitalists such as Sweden’s late Adolph Lundin, who
acquired mining and oil concessions in Congo and Sudan while civil wars
were still raging and turned huge profits when he sold them on.
In both countries, however, legal wrangling has often prevented mineral
concessions from becoming productive. Mr Heilberg has experience of this
problem after being embroiled in a dispute with the south Sudan
government over oil exploration rights also claimed by other companies.
Some experts on Sudan believe his 400,000 hectares will face a similar
fate and that his ultimate strategy is to trade whatever claim he can
sustain over the land to investors with a greater capacity to develop
it. He says the land has great potential for biofuels and food crops and
is looking for joint venture partners.
He insists the law is less important to his deal than the clout he has
bought into by associating with a former warlord, Paulino Matip, whose
family says it owns some of the land in Mayom county, in Unity state.
“I never understood why the oil industry could spend $1bn drilling dry
holes but they do not want to take a single dollar in legal risks,” Mr
Heilberg told the FT.
Mr Matip fought with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement against the
northern army before gaining notoriety during a bloody civil war episode
when he switched sides to form his own militia, with backing from parts
of his Nuer tribe and the Khartoum regime. “I am sure Paulino has killed
many, but I am sure he done it in protection of his people,” Mr Heilberg
says.
Following the 2005 peace agreement his forces were appeased when he was
brought in as deputy commander in the army of the autonomous south.
Mr Matip’s son Gabriel, who controls the company in which Jarch has
bought a majority stake, said he had negotiated with tribal leaders to
secure access to more land. He said the company also had the agreement
of the ministry of agriculture in south Sudan for the development of the
land.

Written by torit1955

January 14, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Land Grabing?Former Wall Street banker Philippe Heilberg gambles on a warlord’s continuing control of 400,000 hectares of land in South Sudan

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Former Wall Street banker Philippe Heilberg gambles on a warlord’s continuing control of 400,000 hectares of land in South Sudan Financial Times report by Javier Blas and William Wallis in London January 10 2009:

A US businessman backed by former CIA and state department officials says he has secured a vast tract of fertile land in south Sudan from the family of a notorious warlord, in post-colonial Africa’s biggest private land deal. Philippe Heilberg, a former Wall Street banker and chairman of New York-based Jarch Capital, told the Financial Times he had gained leasehold rights to 400,000 hectares of land – an area the size of the emirate of Dubai – by taking a majority stake in a company controlled by the son of Paulino Matip. Mr Matip fought on both sides in Sudan’s lengthy civil war but became deputy commander of the army in the autonomous southern region following a 2005 peace agreement. The deal, between Mr Heilberg’s affiliate company in the Virgin Islands and Gabriel Matip, is a striking example of how the recent spike in global commodity food prices has encouraged foreign investors and governments to scramble for control of arable land in Africa. In contrast to land deals between foreign investors and governments, Mr Heilberg is gambling on a warlord’s continuing control of a region where his militia operated in the civil war. “You have to go to the guns: this is Africa,” Mr Heilberg said by phone from New York. He refused to disclose how much he had paid for the lease. Jarch Management Group is linked to Jarch Capital, a US investment company that counts on its board former state department and intelligence officials, including Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador and expert on Africa, who acts as vice-chairman; and Gwyneth Todd, who was an adviser on the Middle East and north Africa at the Pentagon and under Bill Clinton at the White House. Laws on land ownership in south Sudan remain vague and have yet to be clarified in a planned land act. Some foreign experts on Sudan as well as officials in the regional government, speaking on condition of anonymity, doubted Mr Heilberg could assert legal rights over such a vast tract of land. The deal is second only in size to the recent lease of 1.3m hectares by South Korea’s Daewoo from the government of Madagascar. Mr Heilberg is unconcerned. He believes that several African states, Sudan included, but possibly also Nigeria, Ethiopia and Somalia, are likely to break apart in the next few years and that the political and legal risks he is taking will be amply rewarded. “If you bet right on the shifting of sovereignty then you are on the ground floor. I am constantly looking at the map and looking if there is any value,” he said. He was also in contact with rebels in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, dissidents in Ethiopia and the government of the breakaway state of Somaliland, among others. Mr Heilberg said Jarch had no agricultural expertise but would seek joint-venture partners to cultivate the land, which is in one of the remotest parts of Sudan, in a region bordering the White Nile and with no tarred roads.

Written by torit1955

January 11, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Uganda: How Assault on LRA Was Executed

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How the attack was planned, executed

Grace Matsiko, Risdel Kasasira & Paul Amoru

Kampala

Sunday’s lightning raid by a joint force of Ugandan, Congolese and South Sudanese forces on Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army rebel camps was the culmination of months of preparation by the UPDF as a Plan B in case the Juba peace talks failed, Daily Monitor can reveal.

UPDF Attack of LRA Bases in Garamba National Park - 15 December 2008

UPDF Attack of LRA Bases in Garamba National Park - 15 December 2008

Many of the military drills for the exercise were done in Barlege in Lira, in Kitgum, in Gulu and Singo military training camp in Mubende, according to officers who participated in the preparations spanning over six months.

The crack unit now deployed in the jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo to hunt for Kony comprised several elements of the UPDF. The combat troops were picked from the air force, armoured brigade, intelligence, commando unit, marines and paratroopers.

Military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, told Daily Monitor that preparations for ‘Plan B’ began in June when President Museveni issued an order recalling Brig. Patrick Kankiriho from the UPDF 3rd Division in Moroto, where he was a division commander, to camp in Pader.

He was later followed by Lt. Col. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the First son who is also the commander of the Special Forces after he was discharged from the Presidential Guard Brigade to join the regular forces. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Col. Moses Rwakitarate, an equally young and energetic officer was drafted onto the team.

Meanwhile, the troops on the border regions, including those inside Sudan, were put under a new group in the UPDF that has come to be called the “new generation”. Most of the commanders in this group are said to be in their 40s and fairly better trained and educated than the older generation of army officers.

The military preparations were boosted by defections from the LRA ranks and bloody internal purges among its officers which saw the execution of Kony’s erstwhile deputy, Vincent Otti.

Under pressure from the international community, especially the United States, Kampala, Juba and Kinshasa then signed an agreement that would allow joint cross-border operations against rebel groups in the region.

This meant that the UPDF could follow the LRA across the border into DR Congo where the rebels had set up camp in the jungles of Garamba National Park, protected by the harsh terrain, the several thousand kilometres from Uganda’s borders, and the incompetence of the poorly armed, trained and paid DR Congo army.

At a meeting of regional security chiefs earlier in the year, different tasks were given to different actors and other countries in the Great Lakes region affected by activities of the LRA. Monuc forces pledged medical, food and other logistics for the foot soldiers of the United Front against Kony and his commanders, sources told Daily Monitor, while the UPDF and SPLA were tasked to provide intelligence for the mission. The Congolese forces were to take part in combat operations against the rebels.

With the pieces of the puzzle finally coming together, only one piece remained elusive; a peace deal had been agreed and a date – November 30 – pencilled in for Kony to sign. The more pacifist countries among the international community involved in the talks insisted on giving peace one more chance.

The United States had already shown its impatience with the stop-go nature of the talks earlier in the year when its top diplomat on Africa, Ms Jendayi Frazer said Washington would not sit by and watch while Kony re-armed in Garamba.

After one of his numerous no-shows at a signing ceremony in South Sudan, the US ambassador to Kampala, Mr Steven Browning said: “This latest failure to sign, combined with recent atrocities committed by the LRA in eastern Congo, indicate that the LRA leadership is not committed to peace. This in turn calls into question the value of continuing the efforts of regional and international facilitators to advance the Juba peace process.”

After Kony failed to turn up, yet again, on November 30 the pin finally dropped.
Early on Sunday, months of military preparation gave way to action when UPDF fighter jets took off from Yambio in the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA)-controlled territory of South Sudan and attacked LRA bases in Suke, Pilipili, Nyere, Garamba park and Bayoute, all in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Other attack helicopters swooned in from Dungu, where a DR Congo army brigade under the command of Col. Muhindo Mundosi has a base. As the air raids pounded rebel bases, infantry units closed in from Dungu, Yambio, Iba, Yei and Maridi, military sources said.

The rebel camps that came under lightning attacks were covering a distance of close to 100km.
Capt Chris Magezi, the operation’s spokesman, said Central African Republic was supportive of the UPDF operations in the area but could not commit forces because of internal problems.

Details of casualties on either side were not available by press time yesterday but this latest offensive, with its regional support and international backing, albeit covert, offers countries in the region the best chance to defeat one of the most notorious armed groups in the Great Lakes region. If successful, it could offer a working model for joint cross-border operations against other armed groups in the region.

What is GOSS Saying:British Police targets Sudanese money loot London

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Below is a public statement attributed to GOSS’ ministry of Regional Cooperation, Department of Information and Media released on 12 December 2008. The aim of the statement is to  extricate Stephen Bak from alleged looting of US $ 3 millions from the coffers of GOSS’ ministry of regional cooperation and the possibility of involvement of a network of patronage in siphoning the money through London, a Public Statement  date 12 December 2008 is released.

The statement gives a different twist to the saga, admitting that some funds were officially given to Stephen Bak so that he can operate an office in London, not for purchase of arms in Britain and Israel is was reported earlier by one John Chol Gatlwak who was said to be a spokesman of the embattled ministry.

Please read:

PUBLIC STATEMENT

The Ministry of Regional Cooperation (MRC) of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) wishes to refute the misinformation circulated in the internet about Comrade Stephen Madut Baak. Some anonymous individuals have been defaming the image of Comrade Stephen Madut Baak, a Southern Sudanese nationalist of high integrity and personal respect. The Ministry further strongly condemns the association of H.E President of GOSS and family with the incident of Comrade Stephen Madut Baak. Such disrespect for somebody who has continued to sacrifice his life for the liberation of our people is uncultured, particularly for a Southern Sudanese citizen who can have the courage to call our President and family names. It is a living historical fact that Comrade Baak is a very senior person in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), who served the movement in various capacities with dedication and diligence. In a nutshell, the Ministry of Regional Cooperation wishes to confirm the following:
1.       1. Comrade Stephen Madut Baak is a Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Regional Cooperation, appointed by Presidential Decree NO. 5/2008 7th February 2008. Following his appointment, the Ministry prepared a six months budget amounting to $137,000.00 (one hundred and thirty seven thousand US Dollars only) for him and his three staff. Given his health problems, he will serve from the GOSS Liaison office in London due for official opening in the early FY 2009. He was therefore advanced the money to establish the office, including purchasing a vehicle to facilitate his movement, hiring a driver and salaries for himself and the two additional staff.
2.       2. Comrade Stephen Madut Baak was also given assistance by GOSS and took loans against his monthly pay LS 200,000.00 (two hundred thousand sterling pounds only) to settle his family and resolve some of his personal problems plus the amount in (1) above.
3.       3. Comrade Stephen Madut Baak was indeed dispossessed that money on arrival at London Heathrow Airport despite the fact that there were accompanying letters from the Ministry of Regional Cooperation and from the office of GOSS President explaining the reasons why that money was given to Comrade Baak.
4..       4. It is true that any amount more than ten thousand sterling pounds should have been declared at the port of entry to British Customs and excise according to international practice. This is an admissible mistake because the money should have been wired using the accounts of the Ministry’s offices abroad.
The Ministry therefore wishes to dismiss the erroneous misinformation circulating in the internet mentioning imaginary figures such as $3 million US dollars or $20 million US dollars allegedly carried to be banked in the United Kingdom. The Ministry is constantly following the matter and a legal process is ongoing to ensure that Comrade Baak repossesses his own money.
We would like to assure the public that GOSS is committed to fighting corruption at all cost including the idol corrupt voices of the internet that engage fulltime in erroneous fabrications. The SPLM-led GOSS is a serious matter and no amount of propaganda can deter the leadership commitment to maintain peace and pursuing development for the people.
Ministry of Regional Cooperation
Department of Information and Media
Juba, Southern Sudan
December 12, 2008

Written by torit1955

December 14, 2008 at 1:50 pm