Feature

South Sudan: Begging for a return of the loot

Why is our president groveling before thieves?

PaanLuel WëlSouth Sudan News Agency 

Why is our president groveling before thieves? asked PaanLuel Wël. This country isn’t even a year old, but already its state coffers have been looted to the tune of $4 billion. We know this because President Salva Kiir sent a letter last month to some 75 current and former government officials, “encouraging” them to return the oil revenue they’d stolen. The “haunting question” South Sudanese are asking themselves is why Kiir has to beg so meekly. He is not “bound by any bureaucratic checks and balances of a democratic system like the U.S. president.” His party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, has an absolute majority in parliament, and the constitution gives him nearly total authority to rule by decree. So why not just jail the criminals or confiscate their assets? Is it because they are his friends? Because the letter is just for show? Or because he “has no moral standing to face his equally morally bankrupt colleagues?” We have to face the fact that the president “is either soundly sleeping on the job, or an accomplice, or just unable or unwilling to effect his constitutional mandate.” Whichever it is, “South Sudan is screwed up.” 

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