The Ugandan Ambassador to South Sudan, Brig. Ronnie Balya has revealed that President Salva Kiir doubts the authenticity of Ugandan traders’ demands for compensation from his government.
Brig. Balya made the revelations on Wednesday in Juba while meeting Members of Parliament investigating the compensation of traders already given Shs 40bn by Uganda government on a bilateral arrangement with Juba.
According to the ambassador, Kiir is willing to pay the traders who supplied goods to South Sudan, before and after the 2013 civil war but doubts their authenticity.
“His excellency Salva Kiir, doubts whether all these claimants have a genuine case,” said Balya, adding, “Even this amount of money being claimed, he doubts it. He has several question marks on this issue”
MPs were also told that Kiir’s government had interacted with Uganda government officials on traders’ compensation, but lacks the morale to pay huge sums of money, now totaling to US $1bn to unauthenticated claimants.
Kiir also believeS there is connivance between Uganda and South Sudan politicians in the billion dollar deal.
“When I was handing in my credentials in September 2018, President Salva Kiir repeatedly told me about connivance of politicians from both Uganda and South Sudan in the traders’ compensation, but he wants peace with Uganda, so he said traders can be paid,” said Balya.
MPs led by Kyankwanzi woman representative, Ann Nankabirwa also understood that Juba believes the list of claimants has been exaggerated with non-existent traders and wants thorough investigations.
“You must scrutinize case by case to determine whether these are genuine claims. People here have reservations about those traders. People in both private sector and government connived to come up with lists of claimants,” added Balya
He appealed to the committee to dig deeper into the Memorandum of understanding (MoU) of 20th November 2010, between Uganda and South Sudan, to verify the companies mentioned to have been paid.