News / Africa

On One-Year Anniversary, Analyst says South Sudan Can Do Better

A South Sudan oil production facility in Unity State.
A South Sudan oil production facility in Unity State.
TEXT SIZE - +
John Tanza
An American researcher on South Sudan says the country has faced countless difficulties during its first year as an independent country. Eric Reeves described the performance of the new government as “very disappointing,” and called official corruption in South Sudan “alarming.”

‘’As many friends of South Sudan feel, I am disappointed in many respects.  The scale of corruption has been deeply dismaying; the earliest efforts at disarmament were not well conceived. Not enough [has been] done to address issues of ethnic animosity’’ he said.

Reeves teaches English Language and Literature at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. He has served as a consultant to a number of human rights and humanitarian organizations operating in South Sudan. 

The country’s first year included a standoff between it and its neighbor, the Republic of Sudan, over oil transfer fees.  The university professor attributes Juba’s current economic hardships to what he calls “Sudan’s tactics” of weakening the government in South Sudan. He accused Khartoum of waging an economic war on Juba the day South Sudan declared its independence.

‘’Khartoum had made a decision not to arrive at a reasonable arrangement on oil transportation [fees up north] by asking 36 dollars (per) barrel. They compelled South Sudan to shut down oil production in January,” he said.

But Reeves said it doesn’t have stay that way.  South Sudan should borrow money now in anticipation of oil revenues in the future, he said.  He cautioned that Juba will lose money in the beginning, but eventually it will help the country to boost its foreign currency reserves.

Inflationary fears

Reeves said South Sudan now faces what he called a “very serious threat of inflation” that might lead to people losing confidence in the country and its economy.
He said Juba is now bankrupt and has no foreign currency backing up South Sudanese pounds.

‘’My fear is [that] since inflation is already very high, you can have hyperinflation. Hyperinflation would mean that there is no currency that can be used even for domestic transaction,’’ he said.

He predicted that South Sudan is heading toward a situation where it will have no money to pay its public servants, security forces, or vendors that provide services to government institutions. He said the situation could improve if the country’s oil production resumes operation. But he warned Juba against ‘’putting all of its eggs in one basket.’’

Lack of jobs

He said even though South Sudan does not have money, it cannot demobilize its army. He also pointed out that there are not enough jobs in the country. Reeves fears the current situation could destabilize the country.

Human rights

Reeves also says human rights violations remain high in the country. He urged President Salva Kiir to take the lead on addressing issues related to the abuse of power by South Sudan’s security forces.

‘’[President Salva Kiir] has to step in, other ministers have to step in and make it clear …[that] the [soldiers] …. will be made accountable [for] the kinds of abuses that see journalists imprisoned, that see people shot for no reason by soldiers.”

Human Rights Watch released a report last month calling on Juba to urgently address human rights violations by its military, police and plain clothes security officials.  The report also urged the government to improve its judiciary system and living conditions at detention centers.

Listen to Analyst Eric Reeves on S. Sudan's Performance after 1 year
Listen to Analyst Eric Reeves on S. Sudan's Performance after 1 yeari
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Peter from: Portland,OR
July 08, 2012 10:37 AM
It is incredible that a major news organization would quote Eric Reeves who has never been in Sudan but has a long history of vitriolic attacks against Khartoum. Why not contact members of the Sudan Studies association ?
(PS: As you say, he teaches English Literature,NOT African Studies or Arab Studies or Comparative Politics; what kind of a source is this?)

In Response

by: Eric Reeves from: Northampton, MA
July 10, 2012 10:19 AM
Peter in Portland writes in error that I have never traveled in Sudan; I have traveled to both South Sudan and the Nuba Mountains. He asks why someone form the Sudan Studies Association was not asked to write: I have attended the annual meeting of the SSA and have been repeatedly asked to return. And if Peter thinks that 14 years studying Sudan counts for naught because my Ph.D is in English, he has a dismayingly parochial sense of how people extend their fields of knowledge. And if he thinks my work can be summed up as "a long history of vitriolic attacks against Khartoum," he demonstrates his own shallow reading on the issues I've addressed in several hundred publications.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid