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S. Sudan oil minister urged to retract "booming" economy remark


February 25, 2018 (JUBA) – A forum of South Sudanese civil society entities said they are frustrated by comments attributed to the country’s Petroleum minister, Ezekiel Lol Gatkouth in which he reportedly described the economy of Africa’s newest nation as “booming”.

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South Sudan’s petroleum minister Ezekiel Gatkouth makes opening remarks at the Oil and Power conference in Juba, October 16, 2017 (APO)

Gatkouth made the remarks while appearing on the BBC’s Hard Talk program.

The group, in a statement, said the minister’s remarks were a total misrepresentation of facts on the ground and needed a retraction.

“It is also a direct mockery of citizens who are facing deplorable living conditions as a result of the war inflicted economic collapse in the country,” partly reads the statement.

Latest figures from the World Bank show that inflation in South Sudan has consistently been in triple digits over the last two years, with its Gross Domestic Product experiencing an annual growth rate of -13.1 percent.

Civil servants have gone for months minus pay as the country’s population continue to survive on emergency humanitarian assistance.

“These troubling economic indicators are among the worst in the world and cannot make a booming economy”, the group further said.

Members of the forum urged politicians and leaders in the country to seek the right information before they make public statements.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than two million displaced since war broke out in South Sudan in December 2013.


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  • 26 February 12:12, by jubaone

    The "coin rebel" Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth is reckless and brazen. He cant even substantiate his "booming economy" with concrete economic indicators. That is just so stupid but again shows the level of education of such coin rebels. A showcase of perhaps the "most educated" nyagat in town. I just dont want to think of the rest in the kiirminal gang of bush generals.

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    • 27 February 17:22, by garrak1520

      "Nearly two-thirds of South Sudan’s population at risk of rising hunger". The bastard lives away from the people: may be Crown hotel. So sad , for almost 40 years the people of South Sudan fought Sudan for a better live, the people won but unfortunately, South Sudan now under worst than those they fought against (Kiir, Machar, Taban and their cronies). Time for change for what you fought for.

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    • 28 February 10:42, by Midit Mitot

      It become habit to self procliamed Minister call Lol Gatkuoth, Lol was planning to get this position in order to loot oil and lie on South Sudanese citisens. Sorry! if you Lol looted oil for your then citisens are in need of food.Don,t confuse the world that economic is booming in Country.

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  • 26 February 17:07, by lino

    Very damaging statement!!! I think they live on a different planet!!! I think a tribesman in his village knows better on what is going on in the country when economy is concerned!!!

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  • 26 February 18:58, by Tilo

    Ignorance is killing citizen of this country - The economic maybe booming in J1 but not in the SS as a country. Thousands are going hungry and civil servant have gone months without pay. The first step in solving problem is to acknowledge it in first place.
    If these illiterates are still on power more s. Sudanese will die in their hands.

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    • 26 February 22:16, by dinkdong

      "Economic maybe booming in J1," now that’s funny.

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  • 26 February 21:05, by Eastern

    When you have your face sacrificed as a way of "entering the world of human beings" that’s what befalls you! No surprises and no need for retraction of the statement. What Ezekiel Lol stated is what the tribal regime in Juba sees and believes in; the regime henchmen WONT UNDERSTAND THE -13 point something growth. The country is held hostage by sycoptahs!

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  • 26 February 22:00, by garrak1520

    This moron needs to be fired . We all know the situation of South Sudan and in South Sudan. The BBC hardtalk interview indicated that those surrounding Kiir do never tell him the fact therefore he needs to get rid of them and bring folks like Kuol Manyang. South Sudan needs folks who care about the people and the country not those who just think about their pockets.

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  • 26 February 22:10, by dinkdong

    Oh now we are done lying. I thought that’s how the gov’t was operating. Say the opposite of what is real so the country look good. I don’t blame him. He learned it from Kiir and his corrupted parliament officials.

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  • 27 February 08:19, by EastSudanisHeaven

    Mr No Petroleum Minister
    The only BOOMING in South Sudan is the influx of Refugees to nieghbouring countries.
    You should visit the refugees in the camps and ask them to return to the booming South Sudan Economy.

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  • 27 February 13:31, by frank

    south Sudanese politicians are becoming much more reckless, ignorant and definitely useless by trying to praise their boss president kiir in this current situation. nuers especially are made useless beyond repair. equestrians would prepare to shut up rather than those useless comments by illiterate ezekiel l

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  • 27 February 14:58, by Nyamlelthii

    This has proved beyond doubt that Minister Ezekiel has no national agenda and I have been saying this that Both Hon. Ezkiel and Taban Deng are just milking the nation to replace the money they have lost during the war.
    They are not in Juba because of the peace I believe.

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    • 28 February 07:53, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      He also said", peace is coming to South Sudan" As per the economy! it maybe booming in his pockets and foreign bank accounts.

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