Security firms illegal, says investment authority chief

By Mandela Nelson Denis

All security firms in the country are illegal, South Sudan Investment Authority’s Secretary General Dr Abraham Maliet Mamer has said.

His verdict comes hot on the heels of the on-going crackdown on security firms that has so far led to the arrest of one of the country directors of a security firm.

Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, Abraham disclosed that all security firms operating in the country are not registered with the authority yet they are investments.

Abraham says having not registered with the authority is a violation of the rules governing investments and such firms cannot be protected in case of any violations.

Abraham stated that one of the roles of the authority is to protect local and foreign investors and their investments.

“The security firms are not registered with us and they are actually investors, for us they have violated the rules, so all of them are actually operating illegally in the country,” said Abraham.

The security firms are supposed to obtain investment certificates first, Abraham said.

Prodded to explain where the investors get powers to operate without the requisite documents, Abraham cited lack of coordination as the major cause of all the confusion.

However, Abraham remained cagy over the names of the firms but affirmed that people are doing their own sort of things without coordination.

“For us the security companies operating are illegal because they have not met this requirement, we don’t want to chase away investors but we need to guide them, they need to know exactly what is needed,” Abraham said.

Section 24:3 of the Investment Law of South Sudan says, “Foreign investor cannot invest in South Sudan unless that foreign investor has been issued with investment certificate.”

The authority is a member of the economic cluster of the Republic of South Sudan, it is an entity that is the backbone of the economic sector.

Some of its mandates include promotion and protection of investors and to advise the government on issues pertaining investment.

The authority also has a clear role when it comes to employment and that is why it does not charge investors any money on behalf of the government.

This is a clear departure from what happens in other countries because of the need for investors to create employment to locals.

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