South Sudan Africa News Liberty




7 April 2019: South Sudan’s Oil Minister Ezekiel Gatkuoth Lol reacted hungrily to UN report that oil revenue money has been used to finance the war, "I have been in the Ministry of Petroleum since 2016 and I can assure you there is no single dollar that has been used to buy arms in the ministry and even in the country," South Sudan oil minister Gatkuoth Lol said. 

"The focus is peace, peace, peace. We are not investing in war and we will not at all invest in war" he added. 

Gatkuoth says, " Nilepet has not been financing any activities that are related to violence in the country" on the issue of corruption, Mr. Gatkuoth was unable to accept or denied whether there is corruption in Kiir's government, "Corruption is everywhere in the world but the most important thing is how you deal with it," he said. 

"People are being dismissed, people are being held accountable, we have been actually really targeting people who have been actually involved in corruption and they are in jail and they are prosecuted. To me, the president is doing exactly the right thing and we are open book. In the Ministry of Petroleum or Finance or the whole government, we are open book." 

"In February 2019, the United Nations Human Rights Council released a report describing what it believes is funding the war: the country's rich oil industry. 

It says that the state-owned Nilepet oil company "has diverted oil revenues which should be shared with states into the coffers of elites in the government," and that its operations "have been characterized by a total lack of transparency and independent oversight." 

According to the report, "oil revenues and income from other natural resources have continued to fund the war, enabling its continuation and the resulting human rights violations." 

Minister Ezekiel Lol praised the country's leader, saying President is for peace and has a clear policy of zero tolerance of corruption, he said under  Kiir's leadership criminal and corrupt officials have either been dismissed or prosecuted in court by the order of the President.  

While Ezekiel Gatkuoth like any other government official fall short from telling the true because he is part and parcel of the corruption, and the true part of the coin is Kiir has failed to arrest or prosecute anyone even when the names of 75 individuals who pocket away 4.1billion US$ and millions of dollars have been stolen from the office of President by his office personals. 

Ezekiel Lol further said people who wrote bad reports about the country the likes of UN report that oil money has been diverted to fund conflict are the enemy of peace. 

on the report of rape by government soldiers and militias, Ezekiel refuted and denied that there have even been raped by government soldiers. "Nobody is condoning rape, and we will never support it, I have a daughter, I have a wife. so, we in the government will not support rape" said Ezekiel Gatkuoth 

Mr. Gatkuoth also praised the Presidents of Sudan and Uganda for their efforts to bring peace in South Sudan, while he also softened his tongue against Trump's administration, saying the US is our allied and friend, they have been there during the CPA and referendum, he denied that the US has imposed sanctions on 15 government officials and entities  doing businesses for government, Mr. Gatkuoth said the US only imposed restrictions and we want those restricts to be lifted. 


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