Experts urge South Sudan’s unity govt to undertake reforms

Experts on Thursday said South Sudan’s recently formed transitional unity government should embark on institutional reforms, as prescribed in the signed 2018 revitalised peace deal, to win over confidence and support from the international community.

President of South Sudan Salva Kiir after appointing First Vice President Riek Machar and a host of other officials to serve in the unity government cautioned them against engaging in corrupt practices.

He also urged them to work to foster unity and harmony, besides providing services to the civil population.

Experts said that institutional reforms are crucial to enable the unity government work after six years of conflict disrupted economic activities, and weakened law and order.

Jacob Chol, professor of politics at the University of Juba said that the government should undertake financial reforms to enable proper management of revenues.

He said countries under the Troika umbrella like the United States, Norway and Britain that have been supporting the youngest nation since independence from Sudan in 2011, are waiting to see reforms in order to support the government.

“Given the fact that these Troika countries, have not yet brought in their (financial) support, then it’s likely that they will have financial- deficit in terms of running the revitalized unity government and that’s where the issue of the big tent government comes in,” said Chol.

Chol said the new government should ditch past practices of mismanagement of resources and corruption by building strong institutions, in order to help reduce misuse of resources. 

“They should basically do different thing from what happened in previous years.

I have said many times that if you cannot manage resources so that you cannot have reserves. You cannot build strong institutions because institutional reforms require trained manpower, employing new cadres, and checks and balances,” said Chol.

Abraham Kuol Nyuon, dean of school of social and economic studies at University of Juba, said the unity government is costly to the taxpayer as it will come with its burden on the public purse.

“The reality is that if you look at this current government there are increase in the number of employees. At the presidency, there are three more people that have been put there. We used to have the president, first vice president and vice president.”  -Xinhua

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