South Sudan traces missing Sh1.03 billion to Kenyan banks


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The South Sudanese government has traced its missing Sh1.03 billion to accounts at Ecobank, Kenya Commercial Bank and Cooperative Bank of Kenya.

These are linked to Lt Gen Thomas Cirillo Swaka – former SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff in charge of logistics, and his kin Fueni Cirillo.

Cirillo is reportedly a Human Resource Managament student at Mount Kenya University. But MKU has denied she is a student there. No further details have been provided about her.

A bank statement seen by the Star shows transactions on the money after it was reported missing from the South Sudan government this month.

Paul Awan, chief of general staff, said the cash went missing after Swaka quit his job and defected from Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

A letter dated February 9 shows that Awan asked Renish Omullo, a special envoy in charge of Germany international and regional affairs, to trace and return the cash which was transacted in US dollars.

Renish wrote to Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on February 10 requesting that bank accounts held by Swaka and Cirillo be frozen.

Swaka is described in the letter, also seen by the Star, as a former SPLA officer and fugitive in Kenya who stole more than $10 million.

“This office is under instructions from the Office of the President, Government of South Sudan to kindly request you to facilitate a freeze of these accounts and recover the money back to Bank of South Sudan A/C name – Military Strategic Division; A/C no – (USD) 0026921002607,” Renish says in her letter.

“However this letter has not gone through our Embassy in Nairobi because of the sensitivity of the matter and conflict of interest at the Embassy.”

Renish said the money had already been secured and would be rerouted back to South Sudan.

The banks and the Foreign Affairs ministry were not immediately available for comment.

In his resignation, Gen Swaka accused President Salva Kiir and SPLA leaders of abuses and pushing the tribal agenda in the country.

He becomes the second highest-ranking officer to resign after Gen Bapiny Monytuil since clashes erupted between government soldiers and opposition fighters in July 2016.

A report revealed in September last year that South Sudan’s political and military elite had siphoned money from their country and bought expensive assets in Nairobi and other capitals within East Africa.

Among the many details outlined in the report are pictures of luxury villas, said to be owned by politicians and generals in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Australia.


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1 Comment
  1. LWK says

    Whoa, who disbursed the funds from S. Sudan in the first place? Surely these individuals were not able to do this (disburse funds) by themselves. Also, has anyone ever thought that perhaps these individuals (as the unloyal–to South Sudan’s unity and well-being–opposition) might have received the funds from other sources). Best to see the sources of the funds first. We might be surprised who might be funding them. If that is the case, they evidently will ‘owe’ the funder(s). Let’s see. Are there any brave investigative journalists out there somewhere? Getting to the bottom of something is not taking what is reported at face value (even if we see a letter that was written, it may not be the case until it is proven to be the case). But I, for one, would like to know who is funding the Civil War in South Sudan. Someone is. If the former SPLA members stole the money from the coffers of South Sudan then that is one thing, but they could be getting the funds from elsewhere. I can think of at least one element that might be interested in funding chaos for South Sudan and it is not one of the warring ‘tribal’ parties.

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