The spokesperson of South Sudan embattled opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar applauded an investigative report by the Sentry, which pins President Salva Kiir to have been involved in personal wealth pursuits at the cost of the nation’s welfare.
Though the report also exposes Machar to have been involved in personal wealth scheming through the war, spokesperson James Gatdet Dak said report doesn’t provide sufficient evidence on the matter and that the property highlighted in the report are neither owned by Machar and family nor his associates.
“There was no evidence of corruption by Dr. Riek Machar as the report only mentioned his “rented house” in Nairobi and the “guest house” in Addis Ababa, which he or his family members do not own” Dak said.
The report indicated that families and top associates of the principal opponents in the conflict, President Kiir and his rival and former vice president, Machar, own multimillion-dollar properties, drive luxury cars and stay at expensive hotels, “all while much of their country’s population suffers from the consequences of a brutal civil war and, in many places, experiences near-famine conditions,”
The first of it’s kind in South Sudan, the report draws a direct causal link between public corruption and armed conflict in the world’s youngest country.
Tens of thousands have been killed there, mass rape has been used as a weapon, more than two million civilians have been uprooted, and more than five million — almost half the population — require food aid.
Dak said the investigation adds voice to the opposition in the country who have criticized president Kiir for nepotism, corruption and abuse of office since independence in 2011.
“We now have a document that will serve as a reference when we take all those “criminals and looters” to court for the war crimes, crimes against humanity and for the economic crimes. They are surely responsible for the endless suffering of the people of South Sudan”.
He asked President Kiir to resign.
“If President Salva Kiir were to know the meaning of “shame” and the importance of taking a decision to “resign”, the first thing he would have done in the morning was to take the decision to immediately resign from the Presidency after the Monday released “shameful exposure” of him and his family members in the grand corruption” Dak opined.
The report says contrary to perceptions that the conflict is rooted in an ethnically tinged feud between President Kiir and opponent Machar that first erupted in 2013, the report said, the real struggle is over control of the country’s vast mineral and oil resources.
“The leaders of South Sudan’s warring parties manipulate and exploit ethnic divisions in order to drum up support for a conflict that serves the interests only of the top leaders of these two kleptocratic networks,” the report said.