South Sudanese president orders payment of civil servants

December 7, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudan president Salva Kiir has instructed all ministries and other public institutions to ensure all civil servants and the armed forces are paid before the Christmas holiday period.

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President Salva Kiir addresses the nation at the South Sudan National Parliament in Juba, November 18, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Jok Solomon)

Civil servants in South Sudan have not been paid for months, with the coalition government attributing this to lack of cash in the national treasury.

Sources knowledgeable about government operations say the little that comes from the oil exports have been channeled directly for security maintenance and peace mobilization efforts.

This money, they further claimed, ends up in the office of the President, First Vice President, Vice-President as well as in the hands of the few other influential ministers and officials in the country.

South Sudan’s finance minister, Stephen Dhieu Dau said Thursday that the ministry was making preparations to implement the president’s order before Christmas, but could not say when payments would be made and whether it would extend to states or only civil servants under the jurisdiction of the national government.

The country’s petroleum minister, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth separately told Sudan Tribune that the South Sudanese leader indeed instructed the relevant ministries to pay civil servants before Christmas.

“We have received instructions from President Salva Kiir Mayardit. He [Kiir] has instructed me, the minister of petroleum and also the minister of finance Stephen Dhieu Dau to make sure that the salaries of civil servants are paid before Christmas,” said Gatkuoth.

“I wanted to inform the people of South Sudan that the instruction of the president will be implemented and the people of South Sudan will be paid their salaries before Christmas, so starting from next week they will be getting their salaries,” he added.

However, both the South Sudanese finance and oil ministers did not elaborate on the cause for delaying paying salaries of civil servants, who spent more than six working without being paid in spite of the rising living conditions.

In June, South Sudan recorded inflation of more than 800%, a situation which made the Juba government increasingly unable to pay civil servants and military forces.