Kiir orders probe into crude oil pre-sale deals
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has set up a committee to investigate mechanisms used in pre-sales of the country’s crude oil, barely two weeks after he sacked oil minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.
The order by the president calling for a "complete inquiry" was issued on Tuesday night.
Kiir mandated the investigation committee to “ascertain the number of pre-sale agreements and companies allocated crude oil on the basis of pre-sale.”
The South Sudanese leader tasked the committee to investigate the pre-sale process, payments and taxes. He also directed the committee to engage the auditor general to audit pre-sale practices.
President Kiir also mandated the committee to verify the data of crude oil pre-sales.
The investigation committee will be headed by National Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Martin Elia Lomuro. Six other government officials from various institutions were appointed as members.
The committee is expected to submit its findings within 14 working days.
It remains unclear what prompted the president to order investigations into previous oil deals. The order did not say whether there was money lost in the oil sector.
Oil-rich South Sudan is struggling to increase oil production, months after the signing of the peace deal in September 2018. Currently it pumps 175,000 barrels per day of crude oil.