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South Sudan’s minister disregards accounts freezing move, threatens to go to court

Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, South Sudan’s Cabinet Affairs Minister (File photo)

By Denis Logonyi 

The South Sudan’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs has disregarded the recent Bank accounts freezing sanctions slapped on him by the Kenya’ authorities and threatened to challenge the move in the court of law.

On June 15, the Kenya’ High Court frozen Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro’s Bank accounts, accusing him of fanning violence over suspicion of money laundering.

However, Dr. Lomuro has described the saga as a move by a group of gangsters who want to tarnish the names of hardworking South Sudanese officials despite efforts to implement the South Sudan’s peace deal.

“I have raised the issue with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and I will go tough on it immediately,” he claimed.

According to the Minister, he wasn’t consulted in the freezing move which he thinks couldn’t have been done without consultations.

The minister went on to say that his case was political and that the America’s governments through the UN agencies were targeting what he called “good serving individuals” in the government to tarnish their names after failing to realize their targets.

Dr. Lomuro claimed that the International Organizations NGOs were being used to expose officials in South Sudan in order to get funding. 

The official believes that an asset recovery agency in Kenya was implementing underground sanctions by the United States government.

The Minister admitted having accounts with both Cooperative Bank of South Sudan and Kenya, as a person with a family in Kenya

But according to the Minister, the influential constitutional post holders in South Sudan were being targeted.

He blamed some of the South Sudanese online for celebrating his accounts freezing. 

“I don’t understand people of South Sudan who are celebrating. Do they think that targeting a minister is something worthy to celebrate? He questioned. 

“I have assets and have been working abroad and in South Sudan. I want someone who is going to prove me of money laundry in South Sudan and outside to challenge me in court over money laundry,” he stated.

When asked on why he was the only minister targeted in Kiir’s administration, Dr. Lomuro claimed that he was being targeted since he is a chief minister, who is the head of ministers in South Sudan.

“I am being treated with high degree of difference,” he claims.  

A minister in South Sudan receives a salary of about 300 United States dollars per month but where Dr. Elia got the money is yet to be known. 

Key government’ officials in Kiir’s administration have continued to be sanctioned by the Western countries.

In December 2019, the United States government imposed sanctions on Dr. Martin Elia alongside his colleague Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk, the then Minister of Defense, accusing them of fomenting conflict in the country. 

Both were blacklisted for their role in perpetuating South Sudan’s year long conflict as they were accused of obstructing the country’s stalled peace process, according to the US department of the Treasury. 

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