The South Sudanese government has rejected claims that the top leadership diverted millions of dollars from the national oil company to finance the ongoing civil war.
The campaign group, Global Witness, in a new investigative report, implicated the leadership of South Sudan accusing it of using oil revenues from Nile Petroleum Corporation – NilePet, the national Oil & Gas Corporation of South Sudan to fuel the civil war, now in its fifth year.
But South Sudan’s information minister, Michael Makuei said the report from Global Witness was simply intended to damage the image of the president and the government of the war-torn nation.
“We all know that Global Witness is US-funded and America has taken an anti-government stance, and Global Witness is an anti-government organisation,” he told the BBC on Tuesday.
The report, titled “Capture on the Nile” says NilePet is under the direct control of President Salva Kiir and his cronies, and is being used to funnel millions in oil revenues to the country’s brutal security services and ethnic militias, with little oversight and accountability.
“While South Sudan’s population continues to suffer a senseless war and economic crisis of their leaders’ making, Nilepet is failing its true constituents, serving instead, the interests of a narrow canal, and being used to prolong the brutal conflict,” Michael Gibb, a campaign leader for Conflict Resources at Global Witness said.
Secret documents and first-hand testimony were relied on to unearth the dirty deals that occur within the national oil company, it stated.
Similarly, documents reviewed in an investigation by The Sentry, an investigative initiative co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, showed that South Sudan’s elite is using the country’s oil wealth to get rich and terrorize civilians.
The report details how revenues from oil resources, the country’s main resources of revenue, are used to fuel militias and ongoing atrocities, and how a small clique continues to get richer while the majority of South Sudanese suffer or flee their homes due to conflict.