July 10, 2021 (JUBA) – Civil servants in South Sudan will effective from this financial year receive a 100% salary increment, President Salva Kiir announced on Friday.
Speaking in a televised address to the nation, the South Sudanese leader directed the Petroleum Ministry to allocate 5,000 barrels of crude oil to boost the country’s economy and strengthen the government’s financial position.
“I am aware that our civil servants have endured irregular salary payments for a long time as the salary scales have not been reviewed since we re-aligned our currency in 2015. In regard to this issue, the government has resolved to increase salaries by 100% in the 2021/2022 budget as phase one with immediate effect during this financial year,” he said.
Income from oil accounts for 98 per cent of South Sudan’s annual budget.
South Sudan gained independence on July 9, 2011, but two years later, violence exploded in the country leaving an estimated 400,000 dead and millions displaced into the neighbouring nations.
Kiir, however, promised never to return the country back to another civil war.
“I assure you that I will not return you back to war again,” he remarked, adding that “Let us all work together to and put our country back to the path of development in this new decade”.
The South Sudanese leader also pardoned 15 prisoners who were serving jail terms in the various prisons across the East African nation.
Separately, South Sudan’s First Vice President, Riek Machar acknowledged the high expectations of citizens from the country’s leaders when independence was attained a decade ago.
“Our people expect a lot from us. The world is also expecting a lot from us [and] for us to continue celebrations every time, we need to keep the peace alive,” he said on Friday.
In 2009, Kiir, Machar and other politicians from South Sudan were hosted at a Vatican retreat, during which Pope Francis knelt at their feet as he urged them not to return to conflict.