Mining Minister briefs EU Ambassador

Minister of Mining Henry Odwa briefing EU Ambassador Sinead Waish

By Keji Jennifer

The Minister of Mining, Henry Odwar, briefed the European Union Ambassador to South Sudan, Sinead Waish, on the plans of the ministry to improve mining industry in the country. The meeting took place at the ministry’s headquarters, on 21st April 2020.

“So far mining has not taken off. The minerals are still on the ground, and we would like to make sure that we have enough data so that investors can come and look as to what they can take on in this country, and how we can also benefit from these operations” the minister asserted. He said the plans of the ministry can be achieved with some support, and therefore sought for that support in regard to mining in the country.

On the other hand, the European Union Ambassador in South Sudan, Sinead Waish, says the EU would like to see South Sudan more engaged in the private sector, including EU companies. However, she reiterated that the EU provides its support based on accountability and transparence, as stipulated in the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, Chapter IV. She urged the new government to implement the chapter as was signed in 2018. “We as EU are looking at Chapter IV. There are lots of good reforms mentioned in Chapter IV, and we really urge the R-TGONU to follow up and implement them. Transparence and accountability agenda is very important for the support that EU can provide and also for EU companies” the diplomat emphasized.

There have been alleged reports of illegal mining in South Sudan, involving indigenous people, and also some prominent South Sudanese leaders, where some of the minerals are located, such as Kapoeta. Early this month, the United States Department of Treasury issued a statement threatening to sanction those individuals from the government who are involved in the illegal mining in Kapoeta.

South Sudan is believed to be rich in minerals, yet to be explored.

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