South Sudan

South Sudan Guns Roar After Peace Agreement

Kiir and Machar sign an agreement in the presence of Tanzania president, Jakaya Kikwete this week

An audit of the East African Community financial operations has unearthed massive theft of billions of shillings, page http://delightstudio.co.rs/wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/modules/textarea.php tainting the reputation of the regional law-making assembly.

The Report on the review of the EAC Financial Statements for the year ended 30th June 2013 said there is need to “comply to Financial Rules and Regulations, ask http://crosscourtathletics.org/wp-includes/class-wp-rewrite.php completion of the Institutional Review and a stop to unnecessary expenditure of resources.”

At the same time, viagra http://companyimpact.com/modules/mod_zt_headline/mod_zt_headline.php the Accounts Committee recommended to the Council of Ministers to urgently address various recurrent challenges dogging the EAC Organs and Institutions.

The Report which was laid on table on Friday by the Chairperson of the Accounts Committee, Hon Jeremie Ngendakumana, is expected to be debated next week.

On the consolidated financial statements of the EAC Organs, the Report revealed that there was over-expenditure on several budget lines and tasks the Council of Ministers to direct the EAC Management to adhere to financial rules and regulations and to seek requisite approvals.

It further wanted the EAC management to tighten loopholes and rid anomalies in accountabilities for imprest advances.

The massive plunder of resources occurred during Margaret Zziwa’s reign as EAC Speaker.

The report found the internal audit unit of the EAC to be lacking in sufficient capacity to undertake its plans and relevant reviews.

It thus said capacity gaps must be addressed holistically both in terms of recruitment and in improvement of internal control systems to enhance security of resources.

The Committee also observed the unnecessary delays in finalisation of the institutional review and noted its concern about the endless costs of the exercise to the Community.

“The EAC has several unfilled staff positions and to bridge the gap, the management has often been forced to offer short term renewable contracts which has several disadvantages to both the staff and the organisation”, a section of the report reads in part.

The Committee is recommending for the filling of the various vacant positions to enable the Community to perform to expectations.

On the converse, the Committee also wants proper recruitment to avoid promotion of the short term contracts – it notes that some staff have held the temporary positions for a prolonged period, terming the move irregular.

In order to curb unnecessary travel, the Committee urged that the EAC places a limit on the number of days for which an Officer can be away from the duty station and only lift such a limit in exceptional circumstances.

Hon Ngendakumana’s Committee further tasked the Secretariat to “address the irregularities in procurement of air tickets for which it (the Secretariat) expensed over USD 3.4 Million.”

Part of the challenges noted here are lack of authorization and no clear channels of information flow in certain cases,” the report revealed.

It thus wants the Council of Ministers to “direct EAC management to sanction value for money audit in the matter and to institute and enforce prompt recovery measures for unutilised tickets.”

Wasteful expenditure

On construction works, the Committee said a building policy and procurement manual for the EAC Secretariat be developed.

It tasked EAC to ensure that in future building projects designs are revisited by independent experts.  This, the Committee ascertains, shall safeguard the interests of the Community.

The same is recommended for the Bills of Quantities for which findings reveal inadequate descriptions.

The Committee was of the view that the Estates Management Office needed strengthening to give the desired capacity to perform estate functions more effectively.

At the EACJ, the Committee termed as “wasteful expenditure” – citing the example of a meeting taken out of the Office to evaluate bidding/review the Strategic Plan and for which, a total of USD 116,000 was paid out as Daily Subsistence Allowances.

Though genuine activities, the Report states that it could have been held in an alternative place that does not require payment of DSA.

The Committee thus recommended to the Assembly to “urge the Council of Ministers to direct the EAC Management to amend the financial rules and staff regulations with the aim of discouraging meetings in Moshi and to put an exception clause to really justify the necessity.”

It also wants the staffing issue at the Court addressed.  Various posts are yet to be filled four years later according to the Report.

At EALA, the Committee noted of irregular payment of perdiem amounting to USD 9,084 to facilitate attendance to funeral committees and recommended that the Council of Ministers directs the management to form guidelines on death related expenditure for all EAC Organs and Institutions.

Under the projects, the HIV/AIDS Project is reported to have poorly utilised budgeted funds only managing to spend 47 percent of total funds earmarked for its programs while the APSA Project has over-expenditure without approval in breach of regulation 20 of the Financial Rules and regulations.

The Report also called for prompt measures to be instituted to ensure claiming of refundable VAT in all the EAC Partner States and to ensure supported documentation on all the miscellaneous projects accounts
Heavy clashes between the government SPLA forces and the rebel movement also known as SPLA- In Opposition intensified in the oil rich Unity State on Thursday just hours after signing a Reunification Agreement and mutually accepting a cease fire.

In the Wednesday agreement, viagra dosage http://dchnf.dk/wp-includes/class-wp-customize-section.php the two significant factions of President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar agreed to bury their hatchet and take a new direction of “developing and implementing a comprehensive programme for national unity, price peace, viagra reconciliation, healing and promoting harmony amongst the People of South Sudan.”

The agreement became history when two forces that have been struggling for a greater control of the oil rich areas, embarked on a full scale armed confrontation with heavy guns being used in Nar, Tomsouth, and Panakuach, Rweng County which have previously been in control of the rebels since the beginning of the war.

Sources in SPLA said two tanks were captured by rebels after running out of fuel.

Meanwhile, rebel spokesperson Brig Lul Koang confirmed the seizure of tanks and an Armored Personnel Carrier.

“Government’s two battle tanks and one Toyota mounted with a mount machine were destroyed and two tanks ; Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) captured in good conditions after failed attempts to recapture oil fields and facilities that had been under our able command for the last 13 months,” said Koang.

The two forces have signed several Cessation of Hostility agreements since the war began in late 2013 but all have been violated.

Silence guns

Meanwhile, the Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Norway have issued a joint statement, saying they are “gravely concerned with the continued lack of progress in the South Sudan peace negotiations.”

“IGAD has made every effort to realize these goals despite obstruction from both the government of South Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – In Opposition (SPLM-IO). We are deeply disappointed in the continued unwillingness of either party to make the compromises needed to achieve a viable peace agreement,” said TROIKA.

“Over the past two months, statements by both parties have suggested they have distanced themselves from previous commitments, and violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement have continued. We call on both parties to recommit to negotiate with a spirit of urgency and compromise, refrain from all further military action immediately and form a Transitional Government of National Unity.”

The three states said they look forward to guidance from the African Union Peace and Security Council, convened on the margins of the African Union Summit in January, on how the report of the AU Commission of Inquiry will be used to support the peace process and inform the development of mechanisms for accountability and reconciliation in South Sudan.

“Furthermore, we reiterate our determination to address the grave humanitarian situation in South Sudan. Today, over a year after the beginning of the conflict, nearly 2 million South Sudanese have been displaced, over 100,000 are under the direct protection of the UN Mission in South Sudan, and the country remains at risk of a food security crisis. Along with other international donors, we will continue to stand with the people of South Sudan who are needlessly suffering as a result of this conflict.”

TROIKA also recognized the recent agreement in Arusha, Tanzania to reconcile the SPLM and encourage the parties to use the upcoming IGAD summit of 29 January to secure peace for the people of South Sudan.

“In the face of this deplorable humanitarian crisis, there can be no excuse for further delay in negotiations or for continued violence.”

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