South Sudan President Salva Kiir has openly admitted his country has run out of cash and there was nothing that could be done to fix the economy unless war stops for peace and stability to return to the country in order for investors and other money-generating activities to resume.
The South Sudanese leader attributed the cause of being a cash-strapped nation to the war sparked by the power struggle which resulted into a more than four-year conflict with no resolution in sight despite global and regional efforts to salvage the situation.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of the new finance minister following the sacking of the predecessor Stephen Dhieu Dau on Monday, Kiir said nothing could be done to salvage the loss value of the local currency.
“I want you to work together with other colleagues and institutions to do whatever you can to minimize the current situation. I know we have lost the value of our currency, and there is nothing we can do soon to regain our currency’s value unless we produce, but we should not fold our hands and allow the situation to go out of hand like that. We must try whatever we can,” said President Kiir at a function broadcast by the state-owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday.
“The forceful taking of power has brought us now to this stage where we have no money in our bank,” he confessed, confirming what said several government officials at the bank and the ministry of finance.
Finance sources told Sudan Tribune that the central bank was no longer keeping the foreign currency acquired through the sale of the proceeds of the oil, claiming the office was now in charge. The bank, according to the sources, was only receiving and keeping local currency which is acquired from the direct sale of foreign currencies in the parallel market.
Kiir also admitted that the new nation has become a ’laughing stock’ worldwide because of the ongoing conflict.
Observers believe the conflict could be stopped and political differences with various armed and non-opposition groups resolved if the president and his confidants make compromises or demonstrate a willingness to accept and implement the 2015 peace agreement in good faith.