11 July 2017

South Sudan: It's Time to Declare Bankruptcy, Bishops Urge Government

Photo: Isaac Billy/UN Photo
March 2015 political rally.

Juba — Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala President of Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference (SCBC) has challenged the government to declare itself bankrupt and seek bailout from the international community.

This followed the government's failure to raise funds to host Independence Day celebrations, slated for July 9, for a third year running.

"When a country can no longer pay the interest on its debt or convince anyone to lend it money, it has reached bankruptcy. The most obvious cause of this spotted state of bankruptcy of our beloved South Sudan includes civil war or financial mismanagement by the government," the bishop said in a statement on July 9 reportedCNS.

"Our early national struggles for political autonomy soon have led to the continuing struggle for economic freedom," he added.

The bishop cited massive inflation, the plummeting stock prices and the value of the local currency, as well as the banks that were shutting down as other indication of the state.

He further expressed concern that no services are being provided and no meaningful salaries are being paid.

He challenged the government to take courage and seek bailout abroad to avert the bankruptcy or cope with its effect.

Auxiliary Bishop Santo Loku of the Catholic Diocese of Juba said that the country's problems are political and should therefore be solved by politicians.

He noted that national dialogue peace strategy announced by President Salva Kiir is a waste of time.

"Instead of solving the political problems of this country, national dialogue is thrown to us because it is a church thing nobody should refuse. I do not refuse the national dialogue, but it is wrong. It is not good to cheat the poor people," he said.

A power struggle pitting President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar in 2013 plunged the country into civil war that killed thousands, displaced nearly 1 million people and ignited famine destroying the country's economy according to United Nations.

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