By Santo Deng Akol
JUBA – The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have given stern warning to the Government of South Sudan to immediately stop multi-billion payments to US-sanctioned prominent South Sudanese businessmen Kur Ajing Ater and his associates Paulino Diing Madol or lose millions of US dollars in loans and credit facility from the two leading international financial institutions. Through his company AMOK General Trading LLC and Dubai-based Silwana General Trading LLC, Kur Ajing Ater and Paulino Diing Madol are expected to receive an initial payment of USD 650 million as part payment of the total amount of USD 7.8 billion that will be paid to them over the next eleven (11) years.
This warning came up during a meeting between South Sudan Vice President in charge of Gender and Youth Affairs, Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior and a high-level delegation from the World Bank and IMF at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “The World Bank and IMF have resolved to help the Government of South Sudan put back its economy on the path of recovery. To this end, we have provided loans and credit facility that will allow the Government of South Sudan to maintain urgent balance of payments needs”, said Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair of the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
However, according to reliable sources who attended the meeting, senior officials of the World Bank and IMF are “furious that the government of South Sudan continues to pay huge amount of money to individuals who have not even provided any services to the people of South Sudan while at the same time begging for money from international financial institutions to pay its obligations”. According to this reliable source, the World Bank and IMF have given ultimatum to the Government of South Sudan to immediately stop the payments of over USD 650 million to Silwana General Trading LCC and AMOK General Trading LLC which are both associated with Kur Ajing Ater and his associates Paulino Diing Madol.
This warning prompted the Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng to call President Salva Kiir Mayardit and inform him about the warning from the World Bank and IMF. A representative of the Government of South Sudan who attended the meeting said Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng was “so shocked that she also broke down at the rate at which South Sudan is being auctioned to satisfy selfish interest of few individuals such as Kur Ajing Ater, Paulino Diing Madol and their associates like Tut Gatluak Manime”.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit is said to have convened an urgent meeting attended by the Presidential Advisor on Security Tut Gatluak, Minister of Finance & Planning, Athian Diing Athian and the Governor of the Bank of South Sudan, Dier Tong. During this meeting, it was agreed that the Government of South Sudan should immediately stop the payment to companies associated Kur Ajing Ater and Paulino Diing Madol. A source who attended the meeting said Mr. Athian Diing and Dier Tong advised the President to cancel the transaction. Although, the President had initially agreed to cancel the transaction, he later directed the Minister of Finance and Governor of Bank of South Sudan to write letters authorizing the payment of money to Silwana Global Group and AMOK companies. According to a source who attended the meeting, President Salva Kiir Mayardit was put under pressure by Tut Gatluak to allow the transaction to proceed. It is also reported that Tut threatened to have Mr. Athian and Mr. Dier fired if they continue to block the transaction.
When reach for comments, Kur Ajing Ater and Paulino Diing Madol bragged that this transaction will never been cancelled as it was approved by President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his Security Advisor, Tut Gatluak. “You people are joking. This transaction will never be cancel. We have in our possession documents signed by President Salva Kiir Mayardit himself. The President through his daughter Adut Salva Kiir and his brother-in-law Gregory Vasili are receiving over USD 200 million from this money. We literally got them by the balls”, Kur Ajing told this author. “Tut Gatluak is receiving another USD 100 million through his Office Manager and confidant Abu Thalib Peter Unango. These individuals are staying with us here in Dubai as they wait for their share of the cake”, Paulino Diing Madol added with confidence.
An economist who spoke on condition of anonymity told this author that the Government of South Sudan risk losing billions of US dollars in loans and credit facility from the World Bank and IMF due what he called “reckless actions of few selfish individuals within the Government of South Sudan like Tut Gatluak who have auctioned the future of South Sudan for their own selfish interests”. He said, “President Salva Kiir Mayardit needs to exercise leadership and cancel this transaction with immediate effect or else he will be accused of colluding with Tut, Kur Ajing and Diing Madol to loot resources meant for people of South Sudan”.
Silwana Global Group and AMOK General Trading LLC associated with Kur Ajing Ater and Paulino Diing Madol announced “New $5 Billion Infrastructure for South Sudan” in May 2021. According to this announcement, the project is supposed to cover provision of clean water, new road infrastructure, food, agricultural development and other infrastructural projects”. According to this deal, the two companies are expected to receive USD 650 million as advance payment. The loan is to be paid back through crude oil via irreversible and irrevocable sovereign guarantees for period of eleven (11) years.
An in-depth investigation has revealed that this project is a premeditated plan to steal money that the Government of South Sudan should have received at the end of Transitional Financial Arrangement (TFA) between South Sudan and Sudan. As per this TFA, the Government of South Sudan agreed to pay Sudan USD 3.028 billion as a compensation for Sudan agreeing to South Sudan’s independence. In order to meet this commitment, the Government of South Sudan allocated 28,000 barrels of crude oil per day to Sudan. This financial arrangement is due to expire by the end of this year.
It is this crude oil that has been allocated to Kur Ajing & Associates. In short, Kur Ajing & his associates will be receiving 28,000 barrels per day for 30 days in month which translates to 840,000 barrels of crude oil per month. If you multiply this by the current price of crude oil which is about USD 70 per barrel, that comes to USD 58.8 million per month then multiply this sum by 11 years as provided for in the sovereign guarantee, it comes to USD 7.76 billion of South Sudan money stolen by few individuals.
I am an investigative journalist and writer based in Juba, South Sudan. Reach me on: email@example.com.