JUBA – South Sudan government has accused the International Crisis Group (ICG) of working to ensure that President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his government are destroyed, and then removed from power, days after the crisis watchdog said in a report that Kiir’s ‘tight grip’ on oil resources is hampering efforts to reform the country as provided for in the revitalized peace agreement.
“South Sudan’s rulers keep a tight grip on its oil wealth, blocking outside scrutiny and obstructing reforms urgently needed to ease both popular hardships and political tensions. Along with International Monetary Fund support, a peace deal has kickstarted new efforts to fix the country’s broken finances,” the ICG said last week in a report titled: ‘Oil or Nothing: Dealing with South Sudan’s Bleeding Finances.‘
However, South Sudan’s Minister of Information, Communication Technology and Postal Service Michael Makuei Lueth dismissed the report as “fake” saying outsiders are working to ensure that the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit is being targeted and therefore everyone would like to destroy the regime.
“This is a report that does not even deserve to be responded to; and I can say this is a fake report. They don’t know what they are talking about. They are not honest and they are not genuine. Their target is to ensure that Salva and his group are destroyed,” Makuei who is also the government spokesman said.
The investigative report also said senior South Sudan government officials close to President Salva Kiir Mayardit use the oil proceeds to “sponsor militias across the country, undermining efforts to tame violence persisting after the 2018 peace agreement.”
The 42-page report also reveals that Kiir’s confidants – including close relatives and loyal military officers – operate as a shadow government, bypassing the institutions the formal administration controls in cooperation with the political opposition.