South Sudan’s government has not made public the record of its expenditure for three years, the United Nations peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), has said.
“The role of the government in managing the country’s finances is straightforward. Step one, account for the money coming into the country. Step two, account for how the money is spent. It’s a simple process, but it requires transparency and accountability,” said David Shearer, special representative of UN Secretary-General and head of UNMISS.
“Every citizen of this country – as is the case with any country – has the right to know what is being earned and what is being spent on their behalf,” he told reporters in the capital, Juba.
“That information is not available in South Sudan. There has been no public record of government expenditure since 2017,” Mr. Shearer added.
The government has not yet commented.
The revelations follow last week’s report by UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) , that alleged that “high-ranking politicians and bureaucrats” in South Sudan embezzled at least $36m (£28m) from government coffers in 2016.
The report said the money was siphoned off with the support of international corporations and multinational banks. The report did not name those institutions.
Mr Shearer said he was not aware of the UNHRC allegations when asked by the BBC.
“I want to make it pretty clear that the Human Rights Commission is a body that reports directly to the Human Rights Council. We don’t have any relationship with the Human Rights Commission. That news was also news to me as well,” he said.