Juba, South Sudan,
June 16, 2021 – South Sudan Minister of Cabinet Affairs Dr. Martin Elia Lomoro has lost $460,000 to the Kenya Assets Recovery Agency after the Nairobi government parastatal froze his account in an intriguing twist to implement sanctions against South Sudanese government officials.
Lomoro confirmed the report to reporters in Juba on Wednesday saying he was not formally notified by the bank management and agency of the account suspension in a move that reminisces a political witch-hunt.
“I was told, unofficially, that a certain institution called Kenya Assets Recovery Agency obtained a court ruling to freeze my account. I don’t know the reasons and as I speak now, nobody has informed me, either the bank or the agency itself,” Lomoro said.
The Minister said he was yet to find out the reason why the agency decided to freeze an account he uses to support his family in Nairobi without prior notification.
“So, we have a situation where an agency calling itself Kenya Assets Recovery Agency opens a case against me, doesn’t inform me, takes me to court in my absence without informing me, and makes a ruling in my absence. So, I’m yet to find out what the hell is going on,” furious Lomoro said.
In an audio recording obtained and transcribed by Nymilepedia, Lomoro accused the United States government of funding the agency to target government officials who are loyal to President Salva Kiir.
“This is a political case. You remember in December 2019 we were sanctioned, myself and General Kual Manyang Juk by the Americans, not the UN and you know the Americans want to change this regime, they want to change this government,” Lomoro claimed.
“So, whoever is a strong Minister, whoever is a committed Minister that supports the President became a target. They were accusing us that we are prolonging the war so we benefit from the war. I mean, you have to be stupid to say this kind of thing,” he added.
Lomoro also accused some national and international NGOs of pushing America’s agenda by spying on government officials to get funding and facilitate their projects, saying such groups can go hang.
“They can go hang. I’m not going to be threatened because I know myself and there are also NGOs that are being used by the Americans. Some of them are NGOs who are actually spies, they spy on individuals, they report on us and they create stories so that they earn funding,” Lomoro said.
“We know some of them and I know one of them which reported on me that I am against peace, that I am one of those who will never accept regime change and I should be threatened, intimidated so I come down. I will keep this for the court,” he threatened.
The Minister also called out the Kenyan government on the implementation of the U.S.-backed sanctions after Nairobi abstained from voting for the extension of the arms embargo against South Sudan.
“They are actually implementing the American sanctions so that means the government of Kenya, although it is a member of IGAD and the East African Community, has strong bilateral relations with South Sudan and publicly stated that it is against sanctions against South Sudan technically speaking, the behavior of this agency, which is like anti-corruption agency here [in South Sudan], means Kenya is underground implementing sanctions against South Sudan,” Lomoro raged.
Asked why he was the only Minister sanctioned, Lomoro said he was the head of all ministerial portfolios adding he has raised the concern with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will take the matter further above.