Addressing corruption should be one of the major issues the National Dialogue intends to tackle, a professor at the University of Juba has said.
President Salva Kiir initiated the national dialogue in December last year, saying it was a means to unite and reconcile the people after years of a brutal conflict since December 2013.
Early this week, the national dialogue steering committee launched the guidelines that give a roadmap of the process.
Professor Cirisio Oromo says corruption is one of the issues that cause misunderstanding and addressing it will help bring about peace.
“I even hope and wish that this topic, corruption should be in the national Dialogue because this is the deepest issue that we are lacking solution,” Professor Oromo said.
“The more you are silent about wrong sayings, the more it continues coming from time to time.”
Professor Oromo added that awareness needs to be raised on the importance of fighting corruption in the country.
“People have to be educated, people have to be aware of it, people have to address it, and people have to talk it.”
South Sudan was ranked fifth on Transparency International’s 2014 list of most corrupt nations, preceded only by Somalia, North Korea, Sudan, and Afghanistan.
Leaders of the two sides responsible for mass killings and rapes in the South Sudan conflict have amassed enormous wealth inside and outside the country, at least some of it illegally, according to an investigative report released in September 2016.
The accused include President Salva Kiir, former First Vice President Dr Riek Machar, and several key military leaders on both sides of the conflict.
Members of their families, the report shows, often live in multi-million dollar mansions outside the country, stay in five-star hotels, reap the benefits of what appears to be a system of nepotism and shady corporate deals, and drive around in luxury cars—all while much of their country’s population suffers from the consequences of a brutal civil war, and in many places, experiences near-famine conditions.