By Deng Machol
Juba — South Sudan government will starting tax all civil servants’ salaries as it seeks and generates funds to implement the signed revitalized peace agreement by warring parties in September 2018.
The moves was reached on Wednesday during the first council of ministers meetings, chaired by president Kiir, including SPLM – Io, SSOA, FDs and other parties in Juba.This also comes after the international community, particularly Troika countries paid deaf ear on funding Khartoum – broker peace deal.
South Sudan information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth,said they are seeking over 44 billion South Sudanese pounds (285 million U.S. dollars) in order to implement the revitalized peace agreement.
The minister says the government has asked the public servants to pay a one-day salary to fund the peace agreement.
According to Makuei, this is a part of the civil servants’ contribution to the implementation of the revitalized peace deal.
“The cabinet also decided that all the employees in the public sector should monthly contribute a one-day pay from their salaries for the next four months in the interest of the peace because peace has a value and if we need peace then definitely must contribute towards peace,” he told journalists in Juba.
He further appealed to the private sector and civil society organizations including international community to contribute toward supporting peace.
“Not that only, but the cabinet is also making an appeal to the business sector and to the civil society organs, to the stakeholders, to contribute towards the implementation of this peace,” he said.
South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013 after power wrangling between President Kiir and his designated first vice president Riek Mahar, and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world youngest nation.
The UN estimates that about four million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.
However, in September 2018, South Sudan’s conflicting parties signed a peace deal in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in second attempts to end the five – years conflict, after August 2015 peace deal failed within a month.
The exercise will start this month and will continue for the next four months. But the observers are still skeptical on this move, on how the government will get money when the civil servants have been complaining of salary delay. Makuei added that the amount will mostly be used for security sector.
The opposition fighters or those opposed to president Kiir’s administrations are all in Juba for the peace implementation. But opposition leader Dr. Machar is expected to come to Juba in May according to the deal.