SUPERIOR, President’s Office above Sentry report
By: Manyuon Mayen Manyuon
Office of the President is too superior and high to be drawn into trivial issues of responding to Sentry reports which should be the prerogative of other Ministries.
Rajab Muhandis, the Executive Director of the Organization for Responsive Governance (ORG) told the press yesterday that, such should be the work of Ministry of Justice and that of Foreign Affairs instead of dragging the President’s Office in the matter. Earlier press reports quoted Presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny saying that the office would respond to Sentry report tomorrow.
Mohandis told the press that “the obligation to respond to Sentry Report was too insignificant for the President of the country to waste his time instead of other extended Ministries responsible to respond”.
He revealed this during joint civil society organizations, a coalition of five members’ group press conference on freedom of assembly, association and expression yesterday in Juba when he was asked to give civil society expectations during the launch of the government’s response to sentry report.
Last week, the Office of the President announced to the public that, it is set to respond to sentry report on Thursday this week since the final investigative findings were available for public consumption.
On September 19th this year, The Sentry, a subsidiary of the enough projects, a Human Rights advocacy group based in Washington DC released a report on alleged economic and war crimes in South Sudan dubbed “The Taking of South Sudan.”
The report suspected some tycoons, brokers and multinational corporations of having had association in hijacking the World’s newest State resources.
But on constant basis, the government had several times rubbished the allegation calling it as “a lie”.
However, Mohandis stated that the obligation of the report response was supposed to come from the ministries of Justice and Foreign affairs instead of the Office of the President.
“I didn’t want to see the President engaging in exchange of reports, counterpart and so on with the organizations. That’s not the responsibility assigned to the President by the constitution,” he said.
“It is not supposed to seek responding to reports from institutions and organizations. The President and his office are not equal to the sentry. So that shouldn’t be a responsibility of the Office of the President,” Mohandis added.
He figured that the President was expected to concentrate on national issues and relations building with other counterparts who are of his standard as opposed to The Sentry.
“The President should focus on our national issues and may respond to issues that come from other counterparts such as Head of States from different countries,” the activist reiterated.
Mohandis added that though the President and his family were mentioned, he insisted that it was supposed to be dealt with by the line ministries.
“The ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs are the offices of the President by extension specifically mandated to handle some of these issues. If it means there is sufficient justification then the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs can pursue the legal aids and means against The Sentry,” he said.
He termed the move as wrong approach used by the government to react to sentry.
“It is a wrong approach. I would rather recommend that the Office of the President takes lead in implementing the peace agreement and pursing relations with other nations and presidents at that level but not coming down to engage with the sentry at these issues,” he concluded.