Home | News    Monday 27 February 2012

SPLA top generals asked by anti-corruption to declare their assets


February 27, 2012 (JUBA) – Top generals of the South Sudan army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), have been asked by the South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission (SSACC) to declare their income and assets, in the latest effort to tackle corruption.

SPLA generals wait for the start of independence celebrations in Juba, South Sudan, Saturday, July 9, 2011.

The accounts of the army and other organised forces have not been audited since 2005 and a lot of money is believed to be unaccounte.

On Sunday the chairperson of the SSACC Judge John Gatwech Lul, met with the Chief of General Staff, James Hoth Mai, and his five deputies at the army’s general headquarters in Bilpam. Gatwech presented income and assets declaration forms to the army leadership and asked them to cooperate.

The Chief of General Staff, James Hoth Mai, assured the anti-corruption chairperson of their full cooperation to declare their assets. He said there is no reason for people to “panic” because it is the right way to stamp out corruption.

The result of the auditing of government accounts from 2005 to 2006, released by the Auditor General and presented to the parliament recently, revealed that over $1 billion US dollars ’disappeared’ in that period alone and could not be accounted for.

The revelation prompted the South Sudan parliament to summon both the former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Arthur Akwen Chol and the Governor of the then Central Bank of Southern Sudan (CBoSS), Elijah Malok Aleng, accusing them of facilitating corruption.

However, only Elijah Malok appeared in the parliament and denied the accusations directed to him. Malok said some of the missing money was diverted to the personal bank of the former finance minister, Arthur Akwen, who asked the bank to transfer such amount from to his personal bank account.

Two weeks ago Akwen organised a press conference in Juba in which he denied all the accusations against him. One of the accusations against Akwen is that when he purchased vehicles for the government in 2006 from Cardinal Company the transaction was recorded at doubled the price of what they were worth, leaving millions of dollars unaccounted for.

He said he was "directed" by the Vice President, Riek Machar, to purchase the vehicles from the company.

Machar acknowledges that he “referred” to the minister the urgent need to purchase vehicles for the government institutions as the institutions were being established, but did not “direct” him on the technicalities involved. He said the technical details such as how much each vehicle should cost was determined by the ministry of finance and economic planning.

Machar, declared his income and assets to the corruption commission two weeks ago and urged others to follow suit. However, the details of his wealth and assets have not been made public.

Akwen also accused the SPLM Secretary General, Pagan Amum, of embezzling $30 million and diverting the amount to his personal account, explaining that the order to release the money came from “above”. He did not specify who this was referring to.

Pagan Amum denies the accusations and has threatened to take Akwen to court over the matter. Akwen maintained that he has the documents to support his allegations.


He also revealed that there are 13 more corrupt senior officials in the government and dared the speaker of parliament, James Wani Igga, to have courage to release the list of the names to the public.

South Sudanese MPs stand during a parliamentary session in Juba on August 31, 2011 where the ruling party used its huge majority to approve a new cabinet over opposition objections that the number of ministers was beyond the means of the world’s newest nation (AFP)

In August MP’s initially refused to approve South Sudan’s first cabinet as an independent country, demanding that Kiir release the names of a list of 13 ministers suspected of being involved in corruption.

However, despite their reservations MPs from the ruling SPLM, caved in under pressure from their party and approved the new cabinet despite suspecting that corrupt ministers may be among them.

The list of corrupt officials was handed to South Sudanese authorities by the US. It is believed to include officials with excessively large accounts in foreign banks.

Many ministers from the previous government remain in the current cabinet.


In over five years the SSACC has failed to refer an single prosecution for investigation and no official has been prosecuted by the courts. South Sudan gained self-rule in 2005 as part of a wealth and power sharing deal with the north.

Hundreds of corruption related cases have been waiting for years in South Sudan without proper investigation. The asset declaration forms are the South Sudan government’s latest attempt to stem corruption, which is rife in seven month old country. A previous attempt at the scheme failed as most forms were not returned.

Dr. Pauline Riak, chairperson of Southern Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission from 2006 until November 2011 (ST)

In November 2011 the South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, fired the head of the anti-corruption commission, Pauline Riak, and replaced her with a judge from the Supreme Court, Judge John Gatwech Lul, in a move that appeared to be an attempt to improve South Sudan’s poor track record at fighting corruption.

2007-2011 AUDIT REPORT

There are fears in the public that once the Auditor General releases his report for 2007 to 2011 more billions of dollars may be reported unaccounted for. The scale of corruption and mismanagement in his report for 2005 and 2006 brought some MPs in South Sudan’s National Legislative Assembly to tears.

The coming report for cover the period of the infamous "Dura saga" under another former minister of finance, Kuol Athian, which officials described as the most costly corruption scandal since the formation of government in 2005. Billions of dollars supposed to build and repair grain stores as well as buy grain to prepare for food shortages has gone missing.


South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit has announced that the SSACC also takes the responsibility of prosecuting culprits after they investigate cases and find them guilty. The prosecution power used to be under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice.

However, the chairperson of SSACC Gatwech, said that until the president’s statement is translated into law the commission will not be able to prosecute. He urged the ministry of Justice to expedite the bill and present it to parliament in order to enact a law which will give legal powers to the anti-corruption body to prosecute culprits.

Kiir first promised to give the SSACC power to prosecute in 2009, when he announced the the anti-corruption commission was to be upgraded to the status above that of a ministry. However, two and half years later the SSACC still does not have the legal power to prosecute the officials it investigates.

However, the appointment of Gatwech, a judge, may signal that this is about to change. The power to prosecute continues to be in the hands of the Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development.

In September 2011 the SSACC released a report stating that it was investigating some 60 cases of corruption and was trying to recover more than SSP 120 million (approx. $20 million). The report to the surprise of many, including Paul Akol MP, made no reference to the list of 13 top officials.

Salva Kiir has given a deadline to all constitutional post holders and senior civil servants throughout South Sudan to declare their income and assets, or else submit their resignations.

Judge Gatwech earlier on said his institution has been establishing cooperation with governments abroad so that they reveal the bank accounts of South Sudanese officials in their various financial institutions.

There are suspicions, he said, that some officials might have banked their money abroad under different names, making it difficult to trace.

He also added that they are mobilising expertise from Europe and America to assist the commission in using the latest techniques of tracing and detecting “stolen” money from bank accounts around the world.


In an interview with the BBC this month the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan, Hilde F. Johnson said that Juba had to do more to tackle corruption.

Michael Elmquist, the head of the joint donor team (JDT) to South Sudan, in Juba. April 12, 2011 (ST)

In April 2011 , shortly before South Sudan’s independence declaration in July, key donor countries warned, through the joint donor team (JDT), that Juba had to ensure future development aid was not mismanagement.

“Our mandate as joint donors is to provide technical and financial support to the southern government. However, we strongly feel that development aid allocated for specific purposes should not be wasted in corruption related practices,” Michael Elmquist, head of the JDT said.

A delegation from the European Union in July 2011, told Juba that the fight against corruption in South Sudan will only be meaningful if the country’s parliamentarians adopt a tough and comprehensive approach towards ending it.

In 2010 the corruption perception index of Transparency International ranked Sudan as the seventh most corrupt country in the world. The international anti-corruption group has yet to rank South Sudan’s position since it only seceded from Sudan less than a year ago.

Ever since the Government of South Sudan was formed as part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement it has been blighted by accusations of corruption. Since a referendum in January granted South Sudan independence, donors, the media and the public have begun to take a harder line on corruption.


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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 27 February 2012 07:11, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

    There is no corruption in office of foreign minstery
    But they rest are full of doom corrupte nyagateen or former khartoum employees,
    Good job Judge gatwech.

    • 27 February 2012 07:22, by Michael Angelo

      Dinka dominanted SPLA,

      That is the only truth I have ever hear from you. Anyone found gulity must face justice & lose his/her job period.

      • 27 February 2012 07:31, by Mi diit

        So the tribal so called Dinka Dominated SPLA/M is an employee of the ministry of Foreign Affairs. Shame on you and your uncle.

        • 27 February 2012 07:32, by Mi diit

          Well done Judge John Gatwech. I know that time will come when those who now enjoy the stolen money will cry with red tears. That time will surely come.

        • 27 February 2012 07:37, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

          Sorry Midiit i am not working anybody that is my mistake i pologies, I just truth them that is all,

          • 27 February 2012 08:24, by Mi diit

            Denial not accepted. Unless you are an idiot, how come you trust people you don’t work with, or who have not declared their assets and income and have not yet been audited.

          • 27 February 2012 08:46, by Equatoria dominated SPLM

            Don apologise to this bullsheat guy so call Midiit let him kill you with truthfulness man

        • 27 February 2012 09:50, by Dakoom


          Yes, Dinka Dominated SPLA is one of the servants who wash ministers cars in the ministry of foreign affairs.
          To work in the ministry of foreign affairs you must be from Bhar el gazal like him.

          • 27 February 2012 11:09, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

            Dakooom why are you so full of segregation bro, what would you get from Dinkas division?

            Nhial is not man,

            there is no way i can be car washer brother in the minstry of foreign affair, i am really qualify to do that job, being educated from UK can make you do any jobs but i will forgive you bother because you are my brother from great Bor Dinka,

    • 27 February 2012 09:46, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      Dear All

      You the general,you are doing good Job,as Jau has be taken from SAF,but to make you all more clearly please declare your assets to anti-corruption.


    • 28 February 2012 02:47, by kumkan

      There will be no significant changes in our new nation if the same faces still in the picture. How can once claimed to fight corruptions if he condoned it himself?
      I felt sorry for the soldiers who devoted their life to safe the welfare of southerners. The leaders whose life are depending on public fund. I can’t believe that we have certain individuals who hold more than millions in their

  • 27 February 2012 07:21, by ABDALLA BIN ABDALLA

    Generals are rich. Where did they get money when they came out of bush with nothing? Salva Mathok should be the first person to declare his wealth. He corrupted SPLA so much. Kiir must sack this man.

  • 27 February 2012 07:30, by ABDALLA BIN ABDALLA

    It is a good move. Gatwech Lul is Nuer so everything will be Nuerists. He will prosecute Dinka not Nuer. Nuerism must be practice in Khartoum.

    • 27 February 2012 07:36, by Mi diit

      Abdallah, Judge Gatwech is a professional judge and not a politician. Unless the Dinka are the majority in corruption, he will not go after them as a tribe. He will prosecute every body including Nuers who will be found to have contributed to the corruption in our land.

      • 27 February 2012 07:45, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

        You are right once a year midiit this man called judge gatwch is a pofessional, well educated and i do respect him so much, because i met him so may time in the office of?????? when they were discusing about official of RSS corruption, he will do good job,
        there is no corruption in the misteries of foreign affair, i denial that,
        thank to his Honor judge gatwech, he is a good ma

        • 27 February 2012 08:07, by Dinka_D_Generation_X

          Honor judge gatwech grow up with Dinkas bro . Nuer without Dinkas is Riek and Riek is a North lover.

    • 28 February 2012 11:28, by morogot batal


      sorry, south sudan have no vaccans such trible fire woods...the only fire wood we remain with are only the fire woods that can set fire on your master arabs and you guys that had been dominated to their dirty games you were doing to us

  • 27 February 2012 07:30, by George Bol

    I think that it’s a waste of time and energy to focus for the gone cases. We have already lost money. The money were paid for foods, kids education , and some for business around the country. There is no way you will differentiate the current funds. We should be making strategies how to prevent further lost. Regulate payments and regulates the sources of funding before it too late.Thanks

    • 27 February 2012 07:41, by Mi diit

      George Bol,

      We will not forget the money you have stolen as "past" thing. It should be recovered and geared towards the development this nation needs. You have denied this nation prosperity for seven years. Vomit the money.

    • 27 February 2012 07:42, by Michael Angelo


      Corruption never be a gone case even if its reach 30 years. SPLA liberated this country to build it, not destroy it. I am an SPLM member & I cannot agree with you. Leave anti-commission alone to do their job.

      • 27 February 2012 07:48, by Michael Angelo

        George Bol,

        Corruption will never be a gone case even if its reach 30 years. SPLA liberated this country for the sake of building it, but not destroy it. I am an SPLM member & I cannot agree with you or tolerate corruption. Leave anti-corruption commission alone to do their job.

      • 27 February 2012 07:53, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

        Leave anti commission alone to do their job,
        What is this? what is anti commission?
        And what job will anti commission do?
        Please nuer get some education, there is nothings called anti commission,
        I know you know english but just come down and write what we will understand with meaningful,
        this is how nuer got confused when the said that riek machar puot can write using his feet ahahaha

        • 27 February 2012 08:50, by Ruach

          Dinka dominated SPLA/Mangoor Abangbaardit/Aguengbar.You are born as canival and will die as canival.A canival can’t reasonate properly who knows how to hunt pple in the forest.You will never how this corruption costs in the RSS.These are the pple u are working with to disappear and u remain alone.Your days are numbering son of canivals from awan chan

  • 27 February 2012 07:51, by Mike Mike

    The system of the gvt which our guys are application in Juba is impossible to be diganoise even if you call white house of USA then they can’t get the real definition of S.S gvt. How come for one to be asked to expose his own properties to the anti corruption commission?. That is a very big lier and is a kind of diverting public attention from the one who decided this decision.

    • 27 February 2012 07:57, by Michael Angelo


      What is your point? Are you saying that this is a bad idea or mission impossible? elaborate your point a little bit.

      • 27 February 2012 08:11, by Mi diit

        Mike Mike,

        Declaration of assets is a tactic to trap the thieves. What they declared will be recorded and, if need be, also investigated. Then the technique to trace the undeclared assets and income will commence. Any money or asset found and not declared will automatically be confiscated and you will have no room to claim it as yours later. I like that.

        • 27 February 2012 08:54, by Mike Mike

          My point of arguement is that instead for gvt to asked someone to come up with list of the assets he/she has can’t make anti- corrupttion commission find out the facts they were looking for from those who are accused of doing corruption.Poorest and riches people can be identified among the community,so it can’t make sense if one is asked to give what he has to the gvt for any judgement.

      • 27 February 2012 09:14, by Mike Mike

        Michael, A person who made a murder don’t accept it if there were no witnesses to proved it in front of the court.So compared this case to that, if this is the optional way that our gvt decided to regulate it comrades in system to stop embezzeling national resources iam sure huge millions of dollars will go without clear way to account it.

  • 27 February 2012 07:52, by Don P

    Good job. Clearly we now know that RIAK MACHAR’S hand are clean. Bravo ’our next president’.Now what do we do about the thieving politicians and generals we have. Let the audit go to the public court.

    • 27 February 2012 08:02, by Dinka_D_Generation_X

      Dop, i don’t think so,Vice President, Riek Machar is not clear and Riek always lie because he want to be President , but he will die with nothing.

    • 27 February 2012 08:06, by manyang mawech

      That is what make Machar unique base of humanity than others. thank dhurgon. Gatwech will do the rest.

      • 27 February 2012 08:15, by Michael Angelo

        This is what I hate about some idiot nuer like you. Judge Gatwech was not appointed by Riak Machar. He was appointed by the president. How his works will make Riak so unique?

  • 27 February 2012 08:18, by Don P

    @Dinka x generation
    The truth is the truth wether you are complimented or offended. Riak Machar is not a thief. HE HAS NOT STOLEN MONEY AND NEVER WILL. That is why to me he is the next president,and if not him it should be someone like Joseph Bangasi Bakosoro.

    • 27 February 2012 08:23, by George Bol

      Don P,

      Presidency is not that easy as eating food. You need to might your own business and understand that this country never come through begging, it comes through hard work. The liberators are laughing at you dear.

      • 27 February 2012 08:47, by Don P

        @George Bol
        You need to check your spellings and grammar. You are embarrasing yourself. what do you mean by ’might your own business’ put the alcohol away before reading Sudantribune.

  • 27 February 2012 08:24, by malueth gueet dot N

    Im tired of these tribalistic comments u always make on this forum.it seems u (participants) have gone to school but i think u are not educated.its high time we stoped these tribalistic comments .Let’s talk about things that can forge a peaceful coexsistance of our communities and S.sudan at large.About the declaration of assets ,i think that it’s a good move but im not so sure these corrupt officers(whether from Dinka,nuer,bari,shilluk,or any other tribe) will be brought to face the wrath of the law.thanx

    • 27 February 2012 08:28, by Mi diit

      Former bank governor Elijah Malok proved to be incompetent. How could he agree to divert government’s money to somebody’s private bank account while he was trusted as the custodian of the money. He failed to protect money maybe because he was part of the corruption.

      • 27 February 2012 09:28, by Gatwiituor

        The way justice Gatwech preforms will be problem to hime later believe me or not, coz those culprite (corrupt) officer full of one tribe,and gangs group around mr X will betray hime and he wiil be sack out coz those people does not need pple who should filterate in to their corrupt activities ,but when the war break out with north let them not run abroads for seeking treatment ,shamefully

  • 27 February 2012 08:39, by malueth gueet dot N

    From benign to malignant,this’ what corruption has become in S. Sudan.There’s need for The anti-corruption to act fast .The commision should be given the mandate to prosecute culprits once found guilty.Otherwise this cancer is spreading at a very fast rate ,and will not be responsive to medication.

  • 27 February 2012 08:40, by Tambura

    I am sure the whole system from top to bottom is corrupted. Resignation have to start from top to bottom too. Talking about generals they have been fighting in bush for free they are not educated they don’t know what is call assets some of them don’t know how to paint their names, giving them salary of soldiers was like giving toys to small children to play with, why blaming them?

  • 27 February 2012 08:40, by Don P

    @George Bol
    you are a pretty good example of cognitive dissonance for saying that the liberators are laughing at me. Are you serious? Is that the limit of your thinking? i just voiced my opinion about Riak Machar. Go take your medication.

    • 27 February 2012 08:47, by George Bol

      Don P,

      With that little brain you have, I don’t think your opinion can help a single person in the South Sudan. If your little brain propose Nyagat and leave the real leaders,then what do you expect from me? You should take medication instead of mumbling. Thanks

      • 27 February 2012 08:55, by Don P

        @George Bol
        To you Riak Machar supporters have small brains. You are trully an open minded person keep it up. I dont insult people because of thier ideas and opinions but it is clear you are just a troll from Luak who cant spell.OLD DRUNK.

  • 27 February 2012 08:46, by ebony

    Good move..but what about the 13 list? What happened about it? The 13 corrupt officials should be brought to court otherwise you cant fight corruption in one side and ignore it in the other side

  • 27 February 2012 08:54, by Alfredo christiani

    Dear readers
    The most corrupted and illiterates’ generals in the army are from (Nuer) tribe, therefore the chairperson of anti corruption will not take any drastic measure even if he caught any one of them because they are from one company. Secondly I failed to understand, why generals who doesn’t speak English or Arabic are kept in the army? For how long, will illiterates’ officers lead army?

    • 27 February 2012 10:41, by manyang mawech

      wariors must be kept in army in case jalaba will come back and take a nation healthy so one nyamnyam general would do nothing for proction our nation. second who can tell those Gens to leave army anyway? that is the question.

      • 27 February 2012 11:23, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

        Their boss the DINKA_DOMINATED SPLA will order them to go home soon,
        You just asked a stupid question that desrved no answer, because those you claim to be warriories have their boss because they didn’t just come in without boss and they can be told any time to go,
        All of them are just under amnesty,

        • 27 February 2012 11:39, by manyang mawech

          Kong nyuan ,matip nhial and Hoth mai are their boss

          • 27 February 2012 14:15, by Mi diit

            Without Nuer there is no SPLA.

  • 27 February 2012 12:24, by nyantung

    Good move. Let’s hope it is a sincere one with followup.

  • 28 February 2012 05:17, by Emporio

    as the excitement of independence tide down the reality remain that newly nation has been planish to new era of uncertainty ,seven month old nation already have anti-corruption commission ,,,s.Sudan remain chronically underdeveloped

    #dinka promise land?"

  • 28 February 2012 18:06, by Mayar

    Let the blaming game started..

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