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South Sudan in Second Month Without National Budget

Salva Kiir Mayardit, president of the Republic of South Sudan, addresses a large crowd at the International Engagement Conference for South Sudan on Dec. 14, 2011, in Washington, D.C. Photo copyright Kendra Helmer/USAID

South Sudan | The Black Examiner – South Sudan’s approval of the national budget for the fiscal year 2023-2024 has encountered a significant obstacle as opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) staged a walkout from the session held in the capital city, Juba, on Friday. The disruption arose due to a proposed salary increase for civil servants.

With the country now entering its second month of the new fiscal year, a ratified national budget remains elusive. The Cabinet and Parliament are at odds concerning the budget’s structure and content.

MPs affiliated with the principal opposition political party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), led by First Vice President Riek Machar, advocate for a substantial 600% rise in civil servant salaries to address the escalating cost of living.

Conversely, Bak Barnaba Chol, the Minister of Finance and Planning, steadfastly contends that the budget should advance with a more conservative 400% salary increment.

This disagreement has precipitated the departure of the opposition MPs from the proceedings.

A notable civil society organization, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO), expresses disappointment and concern regarding the MPs’ inability to endorse the budget during its third reading.

Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of CEPO, underscores that the failure to pass the national budget will exert adverse repercussions on the ongoing “political transition process” within the country.

South Sudan is making preparations for elections scheduled for December 2024. These elections mark a historic moment for the world’s newest nation, having gained independence from Sudan twelve years prior.

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BBC

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