Mark C. Toner
Deputy Department Spokesperson
September 14, 2016
The United States welcomes The Sentry’s report chronicling public corruption among South Sudan’s leaders, including President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar.
The track record of corruption in South Sudan is extensive – including abuse of preferential access to foreign currency, theft of state assets, and corruption in contracting and procurement. While corruption is harmful in any part of the world, it is especially appalling in a country on the verge of famine and struggling to build a government after only five years of independence. We and other partners have consistently made clear to South Sudanese leaders that they must implement reforms to fight corruption and increase the transparency of public finances, as part of implementing the peace agreement.
While leaders have been pillaging government coffers, international donors including the United States have remained steady supporters of the South Sudanese people, providing basic services including health and education that are essential for the population’s future, as well as massive lifesaving assistance that has helped avert famine over the last two years. The U.S. Government provides no direct financial support to the Government of South Sudan.
As Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth made clear last week during congressional testimony, the Department of State is pursuing measures it can take to deter corruption by South Sudanese officials. We are working closely with The Sentry to ensure the information it has collected is used to that end.
The United States remains a friend of the people of South Sudan and we are deeply disappointed that their leaders, given the opportunity to build a successful country at independence and a second chance to harness peace for progress with the August 2015 peace agreement, have failed to put aside personal power struggles and individual enrichment for the good of their people.