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Juba asks for more time to pay EAC

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Sunday, October 6, 2019

East African Legislators during a session in Arusha, Tanzania in June, 2017 | Credit | EALA

An MP representing South Sudan at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has appealed for more time for Juba to clear the membership fee arrears.

Last week, the EAC Council of Ministers adopted a resolution to sanction and suspend South Sudan from the regional bloc if it fails to meet its obligations.

The Council sat in Arusha on Thursday decided the fate of South Sudan for failing to meet its membership dues amounting to $27 million.

South Sudan had been given a grace period of 18 months to pay but failed to meet the deadline.

“We are saying give us more time,” said Hon. Ayason Mukulia Kennedy.

The final decision for sanction will be passed by the East Africa Heads of States at a summit in November.

Sanctions will not reportedly be confined specifically to issues of failure of meeting financial obligations, but also to extend to other aspects that may attract sanctions.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, told Eye Radio Wednesday that the country did not pay its regional and international obligations due to the economic crisis in the country.

Deng Dau says ministry of finance is in the process of paying membership fees to the East African Community.

Juba also owes continental and international bodies, including the African Union and aviation groups, millions of dollars in unpaid membership fees.

However, South Sudan produces 175,000 barrels per day, according to the Ministry of Petroleum.

At the current rate, the government gets $5.5m per day or more than $165m per month.

Recent reports by anti-corruption groups such as The Sentry and Global Witness suggest that oil revenues are being pocketed by the ruling class, including President Salva Kiir and his associates.

In addition, much of the petrodollar is reportedly used to fuel the 5-year conflict.

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