South Sudan’s government accused of using oil money to fund civil war

Photo: Jared Ferrie/IPS

Washington, DC/Juba, March 5, 2018 (SSNA) — A global financial investigative group has accused South Sudanese government of using state oil money to fund the ongoing war, saying Juba’s regime has been offering financial support to a Dinka militia responsible for serious crimes and attacks in northern Upper Nile.

In a new report released by The Sentry, the group said it has obtained documents linking senior government officials to the scheme.

“The documents appear to describe how top officials used Nilepet funds to support a group of (ethnic) Padang Dinka militias active in northeastern Upper Nile state and implicated in widespread attacks against civilians and other atrocities,” the report reads in part.

“They have used the country’s oil to buy weapons, fund deadly militias, and hire companies owned by political insiders to support military operations that have resulted in horrific atrocities and war crimes,” J.R. Mailey, who leads the investigations said.

However, the spokesman for South Sudan Presidency denied the allegations and accused The Sentry of fabricating the report.

“The oil money did not even … buy a knife. It is being used for paying the salaries of the civil servants. The government dismissed the accusations as a fabrication designed to damage its image. South Sudan is not looking for guns now, South Sudan is at peace. I don’t know why The Sentry is putting wrong stories against South Sudan,” Ateny told the Reuters news agency.

The Washington-DC-based group disclosed in its report that it has also obtained a log at South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, saying the log detailed how Nilepet disbursed $80 million dollars for security-related payments.

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