Lomoro: NGO reports are fueling sanctions in South Sudan

Lomoro: NGO reports are fueling sanctions in South Sudan
Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Dr Martin Elia Lomuro talks to The City Review at his office. He is calling for a review of policies controlling the operations of the NGOs. [Keji Janefer, City Review]

Cabinet Affairs Minister Dr. Martin Elia Lomoro has accused NGOs operating in the country of contributing to sanctions of individuals and the country by the international community.

He now wants the government to be more vigilant on licensed NGOs that do not adhere to the law.

He says there are nearly 138 international NGOs and more than 2,860 local NGOs, CBOs, and associations working in South Sudan being funded by some countries and agencies, but when you ask the impact of the money being given to these NGOs in the country, there is nothing.

“They are misreporting on human rights, especially gender-based violence, arbitrary arrest, extrajudicial killings, unlawful interference, corruption, everything and they report to people who are somewhere in the world, either sitting in the UN or sitting in Geneva somewhere on human rights issues and they hold the country hostage,” he said.

In an exclusive interview with The City Review, Lomoro says the government should review and aggressively enforce the law like it is the case in other countries.

During the previous budget debate in parliament early this year, Minister of Finance and Planning Agak Achuil told legislators that non-governmental organisations in the country are diverting funds earmarked for development to humanitarian aid.

“Your country cannot develop with these kinds of allegations, and that to me is unnationalistic, and these kinds of people should be admonished by all means,” Lomoro said.

He claimed that some banks and institutions, including NGOs, were involved in the implementation of sanctions, questioning why NGOs registered under the law would become spies, gathering false information and reporting false allegations to powerful countries and organisations in order to fabricate a story that would lead to an individual being sanctioned.

‘Spies of master’

“The freedom our government has given the NGO is too much. I think it is time to review the law and put them in their place. If anybody feel our laws are draconian, they should what is going on in Rwanda and they should see what is going on in Uganda. In fact we are so far too lenient to these NGOs” said Dr. Lomoro.

He said that government officials are victims of NGOs operating in the country, alleging that some of them were looking through his property list in Juba. He claimed that some banks, institutions, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are serving as agents of powerful countries, reporting on the country.

“We are victims for standing for durable peace in our country and we don’t regret it. We know those who are opposed to the government, those who are opposed to the peace process, they want us to be silent, they want us to be weak and unfortunate for them, they make us stronger,” he said.

He says the government has not been able to disarm civilians because it lacks necessary means and firearms to do so. As a result the country is dealing with an imposed embargo on arms.

“The country is unable to provide proper services to its citizens because it is unable to obtain conventional loans as it begins to develop its economy, tap into its natural resources, take control of its economy, attract investors, and create an environment for manufacturers and large agricultural investors to enter. You can’t do anything since it’s been sanctioned economically,” he said.

He stated that it is not right; they make inhabitants of a country uneasy, encourage them to distrust their leaders, and create insecurity; instead, they should assist countries in stabilizing so that they can defend worldwide peace and security, rather than imposing sanctions on them.