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Foreign adviser to S. Sudan president flees Juba after disclosure of corruption letter

Sudan Tribune | August 20, 2012

WASHINGTON — A South Sudan presidential adviser had been forced to leave Juba after the disclosure of a letter urging 75 officials to return some four billion dollars they are accused of stealing, a news report unveiled.

According to a report published on Monday by the American McClatchy Newspapers, an Ethiopian-American adviser to President Salva Kiir was forced to flee Juba fearing for his safety following the release of a letter sent to influential officials and individuals close to the government.

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Ted Dagne, (L) late Congressman Payne and John Prendergast of ENOUGH at a meeting on Darfur crisis in 2008 (file photo Enough Project)

Ted Dagne, hired by the U.N. to advise Kiir on anti-corruption policy and international relations, played a key role in the preparation of the letter which was put public to embarrass the officials who are accused of stealing the four billion dollars.

On 3 May Kiir asked the 75 officials to return money they allegedly stole and offered amnesty if they deposit it at a foreign bank account.

However the letter, released one month later on 4 June, was contested by many officials who denied the accusation as some others openly disputed the 4 billion figure. The U.N. told the McClatchy it “is not familiar” with how the $4 billion figure was calculated.

Following his departure to Nairobi after the release of the letter, Dagne received a message from the South Sudanese president telling him that “he should remain outside South Sudan. Dagne later tried to return, but was refused entry,” the report said.

However the United Nations said he is still on contract with its mission in South Sudan.

Dagne who has been settled in Juba since January 2012 was named to the coveted position by the head of U.N. Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) the Norwegian Hilde Johnson who was closely involved in the peace talks between Khartoum and the former SPLM rebels.

The influential U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, supported the appointment of the former Norwegian minister at the head of UNMISS.

Dagne, and Rice, were together in a close circle of people who worked during the past years to mobilise American officials and Congress members to support South Sudanese cause. The group narrated in a long story published byReuters last July how they worked to achieve South Sudan independence.

The Ethiopian American researcher and activist told the U.S. newspaper group before leaving Juba that he was very frustrated by the extent of corruption, tribal wars and lack of development in the new nation.

August 21, 2012 - Posted by | Corruption | ,

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