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Corrupt officials will rebel if

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The government is unable to prosecute corrupt officials for fear of rebellion, President Kiir’s press secretary has said.

The statement comes days after President Salva Kiir accused some of his former senior officials of siphoning off the country’s resources.

The unnamed officials, Kiir says, have opened personal bank accounts outside the country and have built skyscrapers and luxurious apartment complexes with money from the state coffers.

Kiir also over the weekend revealed that he fired the Minister of Finance due to his failure to reveal the amount of money in the state coffers.

Some members of the public and activists often say leaders who are accused of corruption are not arrested, charged or prosecuted.

This, they say, encourages leaders to keep on with embezzling the country’s resources without being held accountable.

When asked why those accused of corruption are not prosecuted, President Kiir’s press secretary says the president fears those implicated in corruption scandal when prosecuted may take up arms against the government.

“There are people who squandered money and when you ask, they will rebel and South Sudan is dealing with the revitalized peace agreement on how to bring a permanent peace and the constitution,” Ateny Wek Ateny told Eye Radio this morning.

“The responsibility of taking people to court is the responsibility of the people of South Sudan is not entirely for the president.

“We have not yet arrived at having a permanent constitution in the country. So anybody now can even choose to go back to war if he is asked to pay back the public money.”

In its latest report, the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan found that South Sudan’s leaders are undermining human rights and endangering security by diverting staggering amounts of money and other wealth from South Sudan’s public coffers and resources.

According to investigations carried out by the Commission over the past two years, more than $73 million USD has been diverted since 2018, including transactions worth almost $39 million in a period of less than two months.

The Commission noted that this figure is only a fraction of the overall amount looted; as President Salva Kiir himself admitted as far back as 2012, South Sudan’s ruling elites had diverted more than $4 billion USD.

Last year, Transparency International ranked South Sudan as the third most corrupt country in the word.

It attributed the reasons to a weak democratic foundation, and the manipulation of undemocratic and populist politicians who use it to their advantage.

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