, 25 November, 2019 / 4:49 AM
Following reports that the government of South Sudan recently released US$40 million out of the pledged US$ 100 million to the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC), an entity created to facilitate the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), Church officials in the world’s youngest nation have called for transparency and accountability on the part of those at the helm of NPTC.
“I think the committee should be sincere on how they use the money,” the diocesan Administrator of South Sudan’s Wau diocese, Fr. Marko Mongu told ACI Africa Friday, November 22, referencing those overseeing the activities of NPTC and underlined the value of “transparency and accountability” in financial matters across organizations including the Church.
“Even for we in the Church, the question of transparency and accountability on where the money goes and the reason it is used the way it is used,” the South Sudanese cleric said, are important considerations, which NPTC has to take into account.
He emphasized the need for NPTC to be serious about how the money is spent and identified working toward lasting peace through the realization of R-ARCSS upon the expiry of the latest postponement of the formation of a unity government by 100 days as a key priority.
Fr. Mongu expressed the hope that the money facilitates the work of NPTC toward the formation a unity government and lasting peace, thanking President Kiir for releasing the funds.
“This shows that the government and the President are serious about peace and would like to clear all the obstacles, which are preventing peace,” Fr. Mongu said and further remarked, “Our problem has been money (and) now the money has been released.”
“Let the committee go ahead and do a good job,” the 65-year-old cleric who has been a priest for 35 years told ACI Africa and continued in reference to those at the helm of NPTC, “We need them to be good people who have the good will to bring peace, to implement peace, and using the money well, not for other things.”
“I think by February 22 (2020) we should have a transitional government; this is our hope and we are praying for that,” Fr. Mongu concluded.
Speaking to ACI Africa with regard to the funds released to NPTC, Isaac Kungur Kenyi who had earlier called on South Sudan government to avail funds to NPTC continued the narrative of transparency and accountability.
“If the NPTC is not transparent to tell us citizens about how they want to use that money, then the people will have some problems at some point,” the Church Parliamentary Liaison Officer tracking the peace process on behalf of the Catholic Bishops in South Sudan said.
In Kenyi’s considered view, transparency “is what everybody is demanding, including the international community.”
Hinting at possible misplaced priorities for the released funds meant for the screening, registration, training and unification of the armed forces in the country, Mr. Kenyi said, “Most of the time, the money is being misplaced and used for different purposes rather than the purpose for which it is intended.”
NPTC Secretary who doubles as South Sudan’s Cabinet Affair Ministry, Martin Elia Lomuro has been quoted as confirming the resolve by the government headed by President Salva Kiir of South Sudan to fund relevant activities of the pre-transitional period using resources generated from oil as well as non-oil revenue.
“The economy of the country has improved, our non-oil revenue system has been upgraded and is now operating to a high standard so that local revenue has also increased, so the financial need of the agreement will be forthcoming,” South Sudan-based Eye Radio has quoted Lomuro as saying.
Peter Mapuor Makur, ACI Africa South Sudan Correspondent, contributed to this story
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa