ANKARA (AA) – South Sudan on Thursday dismissed a report issued by the U.S.-based Sentry group in September.
Speaking to reporters, Ateny Wek Ateny, the spokesman for President Salva Kiir Mayardit, said the evidence provided in the report is “weak,” reported Radio Miraya, a radio station run by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Ateny went on to say that there is no evidence that South Sudan’s president owns the companies mentioned in the report.
He added that many of the businesses mentioned in the report are no longer dealing with the country and that those businesses have since collapsed.
Radio Miraya said the report detailed “the carving up for private profit of the most lucrative economic and government sectors in the world’s youngest nation.”
The report contains three parts, carrying the titles: Multinationals and Mass Violence, Doing Business With Profiteers, and Government Spending is Just Another Opportunity to Loot.
It detailed what it described as “international actors linked to violence and grand corruption in order to demonstrate the extent to which external actors have been complicit in the taking of South Sudan.”
“Nearly every instance of confirmed or alleged corruption or financial crime in South Sudan examined by The Sentry has involved links to an international corporation, a multinational bank, a foreign government or high-end real estate abroad,” it said.
“Fortune Minerals is among dozens of companies controlled by Kiir’s immediate family. These companies span multiple business sectors and include joint ventures with investors from at least 17 different countries,” it noted.
“Chinese investors formed a company with President Salva Kiir’s daughter and acquired several mining licenses in South Sudan just weeks before the military reportedly drove thousands of people from the land where they held a permit.”
The report also claims that the current civil war in South Sudan was the result of corruption by the newcomers in rule in the world’s newest state established since 2011.
“The men who liberated South Sudan proceeded to hijack the country’s fledgling governing institutions, loot its resources, and launched a war in 2013 that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions of people,” it said.
“A looting frenzy ensued. Factionalization deepened as networks allied with President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar competed over the vast opportunities for mass theft of resources and state budgets. The uneasy calm only lasted two years before South Sudan erupted into a violent civil war pitting the two main factions against each other, adding to the many fault lines in the country,” it added.