The Sentry Report is a caricature of the truth on corruption in South Sudan

Posted: September 20, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Ariik Atekdit, Columnists, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

The Sentry Corruption Report on South Sudan is far away from the truth and Unscientific

By Ariik Atekdit Mawien, Juba, South Sudan


George Clooney with President Kiir, Dr. Riek Machar and VP James Wani Igga

September 20, 2016 (SSB) — Last week the famous friends of South Sudan, Mr. George Clooney and John Prendergast of Enough Project published their two years’ corruption investigatory report that detailed how Dr Riek, President Kiir and colleagues have deepened their wrong hands into South Sudan’s money and resources and used them for luxury and their comfort with their family members typically in foreign lands.

A lot of luxurious mansions and villas have been posted by the report featuring how these valuable properties are associated to the claimed individuals in the story. As a South Sudanese who have been in this country since the conception of Juba administration. I cannot for instance stand up and challenge the report. I can’t deny that our leaders might have ruined our resources and our economic stability. They might have misused our resources.

I can’t give detail either of how the money is being misused. However, I am only not pretty sure if the photos used in the reports are really the ones that justify the corruption in South Sudan, they might be the ones or there might be still more photos and banks’ accounts to reveal.

 South Sudanese are a people that are not so much dim-witted as professed and claimed of them by others. They are more than smarter and they almost know everything happening now inside and outside about the destruction of their resources. Since 2005, South Sudanese became conscious that the management of resources was not going as expected but had been enduring because they were longing to create their own country and to remain alone.

Juba and Khartoum before referendum have been in negative politics especially when it came to the implementation of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and indeed South Sudanese persisted and waited for independence to be pronounced.  This case of CPA implementation and post independence issues made South Sudanese not to be so much critical of their dishonest leaders; anyway we never quickly realized that we gave them (our leaders) too much chance of the benefits of the doubts.

Nevertheless it was all a risk against time, so no blame to make, we had no alternative. The situation got us that the SPLM leaders were the only reference the South Sudanese had and used them for getting rid of Khartoum administration. Today we have no roads, schools, hospitals and government offices across the nation and we don’t blame lack of resources but our very leaders who are managing the resources.

Last week I saw a report naming some few generals and officials of being among the top corrupts but not limited to Gen. Kiir and Gen. Riek Machar who are the two rival principals of South Sudan conflict. However, what impact can that report make among South Sudanese? Do you want to tell us that we don’t know that our leaders are corrupt? Is it new for South Sudanese to know?

Is it correct to believe that South Sudan corruption history starts only with war in 2014? Why do you choose to publish the report especially this time? We thought this report should have appeared long before now and indeed to involve some members of the regime who have today disown the movement they formed more than 30 years ago.

The report does not carry any value: First because it came at wrong time when South Sudanese are divided over individual politicians and so they can’t jointly and cooperatively pursue these suspects.  We should be focused now to bring peace and reconciliation in the country.  Second, we don’t expect the corruption list to be that short like the way it is now.

Thirdly, it makes no sense for The Sentry to publish a two years’ corruption scale instead of the research centre to set up from 2005 to date all the corruption cases individual by individual this means that those of G10 or former political detainees should be investigated.

If The Sentry was really interesting in saving South Sudan as a nation and its people from the corrupt officials they cannot heavily make this one-sided corruption list dominated by few government officials and generals. They are supposed to reveal the list of the entire cancer of corruption. The 66 pages corruption report has not done enough to be called a sentinel report because it has not brought the beginning of corruption.

I believe more money is lost from 2005 to 2013 than from 2014 to 2015. If this is true then there was no any scientific reason supporting the two years’ corruption report on South Sudan. George Clooney needs to know that SPLM leaders in 2013 got differed and separated because of corruption related issues.  This is what a researcher and an investigator can dare reveal. As a researcher you need not to begin your report from an angle that leaves behind a lot of questions unanswered.

There should be no reason of starting such a report at all. For instance: does corruption starts in South Sudan only in war time in 2014 to 2015 or has it existed before that date? If there has been corruption before 2014 why has the report chosen to detail out about 2014 corruption only? Tell us who should be the first corrupt officials in South Sudan government.

Riek Machar for instance was investigated for KK Security Company that was under Bading Machar’s corruption case. Bading Machar being a relative and connected to Riek Machar is said to have hijacked and control KK Security Company and dismiss all the Kenyans board all from 2009 and 2010. How do you connect that case 2014 or 2015 during war period?

This information is unscientific result because it doesn’t fall under the research period in query.

The report should inform us of the amount of money that has been embezzled by the officials in detail not just mere photos of houses and individuals’ faces. Yes, the companies with the single signatures can tell us that somebody is corrupt but they cannot answer the question of: how much are they corrupt?

To us South Sudanese, we know that corruption has started long in 2005 in many different forms. So we continue to accuse the first cabinet of President Kiir of corruption since then until 2013 and we thought that The Sentry report should have answered for us some questions about that.

In 2012, President Kiir accused and wrote to 75 colleagues to return about US $4 billion believed to have been stolen by government officials and former officials in South Sudan government. The Dura Saga had been reported long before 2012 and our common citizens need to know who these people responsible of that scandal are. These incidents can correctly inform the report that South Sudanese have known this corruption case long before 2014.

Why should The Sentry only narrow down their report to 2014 and 2015? We are too big to be blindfolded this time by such reports. What happens is that Mr. George Clooney had wanted to re-tell to South Sudanese what they had already known but he only does not know how to go about it.

I am against this Sentry report not because it tells me who is corrupt. I am against it because the report is trying to make some individual corrupt officials more innocent when they have badly participated in smuggling our resources into foreign bank accounts yet they are kept out by the research date. Why should the report legitimize the corruptions that occur between 2005 and 2013?

There should be no any legitimate period for stealing public resources. The laws of South Sudan rule out corruption entirely and if there is any report to should be inclusive bringing along everybody that is suspected of having participated in the awful transaction of our money into private accounts.

The Report itself is corrupt and it does not qualify to investigate any corruption case. It is corrupt that it has segregated the years that should have been included into the investigation period but it did so in order to make sure that some people are avoided not to appear in the list so that they should be qualified for the government of Post-Kiir era.

The report should be inclusive of all South Sudanese corrupt officials so that we can best know who are those not corrupt and correctly choose not to ever go for them when they want us to bring them elect them to public offices.

Ariik Atekdit can be reached via: email

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing.

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