Sunday January 21th, 2019(Nyamilepedia) — “Corruption in Bilpam: sources from CDF office and SSPDF air force unit has now confirmed that the 8,000,000$ that was approved by the president for the maintenance and services of transport and gunship helicopters and the hunkers has been embezzled by the CDF.” a confidential document extended to SSNN reads in parts.
Speaking to South Sudan news investigative journalists after assuring him confidentiality, the whistleblower, who preferred to be identified as Lt. Gen. Ecko Bravo, said the ongoing corruption in South Sudan army, and pioneered by the Chief of Defense Forces, Gen. Gabriel Jok Riak, could choke the Revitalized peace agreement if not properly addressed.
“Most often the international community focus on corruption in the government and especially the central bank and ministry of finance but that is not where corruption is rampant. It is rampant in the army. Here is where we have one hundred of thousands of ghost soldiers, in fact almost half of our soldiers are ghosts. Some of them never existed, some died in the war and were never screened from the army payroll. We are all paid equally including the ghost soldiers, where do you think that money goes? To pockets of senior generals, operational commanders, Chief of defense forces, his deputies and our political allies for example the Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs, his deputy…. None of us is not corrupt, it is just that none of us wanted to blow the whistle. Myself [Ecko Bravo] I’m corrupt, it is a fact but who cares the Chief[Jok Riak] is more corrupt” Lt. Gen. Ecko Bravo narrates.
Asked of why speaking out now after all these years of silence, Lt. Gen. Ecko Bravo, regrets that it took him more than 10 years to speak up but he thought that something would be done.
“Yes, we have always had ghost soldiers, it has been an ongoing battle, I thought we would one day win this battle and set our records clean and straight but that hope is fading slowly. One thing though, we have a new opportunity, this Revitalized Peace Agreement could change our military and political landscape if implemented” Said Lt. Gen. Ecko Bravo.
“We want this Peace Agreement to succeed, we are all tired of war, we want our people and our country to have peace, so it is better for me to speak up now or never.” the senior general continued.
Asked specifically about the details of the $ 8 millions USD that he believes were squandered by his boss, the senior general had this to say:
“The money was taken at night by Major Gen Chol Martin, the chief of administration of air force unit to the house of CDF where the money disappeared without the knowledge of the Commander of air force Lt. Gen. Kong Kong.” Lt. Gen. Ecko Bravo narrates.
“Another corruption: certain amount was also approved by leadership to buy Ammunitions in Ethiopia, the CDF took the money to Ethiopia and from there diverted some of the money to his bank account in Kenya. No Ammunitions and equipment have arrived in South Sudan upto now.” He continued.
Asked of what could be Jok’s motive to divert such amount of money to his personal accounts, the senior general vividly explained that the Chief of Defense Forces is not in good terms with his boss, His Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
He believes that Jok has failed to control the army and in addition, Jok was going to be retired after he is removed from his current position.
“Look, here we have no code of conduct and when it comes to managing army resources, we have no protocols at all. You spend all you get and wait for the next salary. Salary comes and goes, no accountability, no check and balance, we are a guerilla military movement. Our SPLA mindsets were never transformed, we are operating as the rebels we used to be. So Jok has an opportunity of a lifetime here, he better filled his pockets to the fullest before he leaves. All his seniors did that and no body held them to account” Gen. Ecko explains.
“Look at the former Chiefs of Staff: look at Gen. Malong Awan, he is now one of the richest man on the continent. He boughts himself big palaces in the heart of Nairobi and Kampala. Malong owns tens of thousands of hectares of lands and herds of cattles. Look at James Hoth Mai, he owns big homes in Australia, and Nairobi and Kampala. Hoth also owns tens of thousands of hectares of land in the country and businesses in Juba. Who can believe these men were as poor as you 15 years ago. Suddenly they are rich?” He added.
The senior general believes that Gen. Jok has commercialized the army resources. He said the CDF has privatized SSPDF trucks and he now uses them for business purposes.
“He put big trucks including low beds that are used to carry tanks on business. He is working like someone who is going tomorrow.” The Lieutenant General further reveals.
“Don’t be surprised to hear that SSPDF trucks are used to transport business goods to avoid taxation at the check points. Who knows if the CDF is also using these army trucks to smuggle in illegal products. Under Jok anything is possible” He continued.
The former Sector One overall commander, Jok Riak, has been on the international media since 2017. He was sanctioned in September 2017 by the the US, Canada and European Union.
Jok’s UN Sanction
Title: Lieutenant General Designation: a) Former Sudan People’s Liberation Army’s (SPLA) Sector One Commander b) Chief of Defence Forces DOB: 1 Jan. 1966 POB: Bor, Sudan/South Sudan Good quality a.k.a.: a) Gabriel Jok b) Jok Riak c) Jock Riak Low quality a.k.a.: na Nationality: South Sudan Passport no: South Sudan number D00008623 National identification no: M6600000258472 Address: a) Unity State, South Sudan b) Wau, Western Bahr El Ghazal, South Sudan Listed on: 1 Jul. 2015 ( amended on 21 Nov. 2018 ) Other information: Appointed as Chief of Defence Forces on 2 May 2018. Commanded SPLA Sector One, which operates primarily within Unity State, since January 2013. In his position as the SPLA Sector One commander, he has expanded or extended the conflict in South Sudan through breaches of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement. The SPLA is a South Sudanese military entity that has engaged in actions that have extended the conflict in South Sudan, including breaches of the January 2014 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and the May 9, 2014 Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan, which was a re-commitment to the CoHA and has obstructed the activities of IGAD’s Monitoring and Verification Mechanism. INTERPOL-UN Security Council Special Notice web link: https://www.interpol.int/en/notice/search/un/5879060
Published on behalf of South Sudan News Now