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Cablegate: Juba: Laws Needed so Legislature Puts Off Anti-Corruption

VZCZCXRO3275
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #2227 2571420
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141420Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4550
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 002227

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KCOR SU
SUBJECT: Juba: Laws Needed So Legislature Puts Off Anti-Corruption

1. (SBU) Summary. On September 6, the second session of the
Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) opened with speeches by
Speaker James Wani Igga and Government of Southern Sudan President
Salva Kiir. While Kiir's speech officially kicked off the 200-day
plan (septel), James Wani Igga focused more on the legislative
agenda. The SSLA will now work to pass over 20 key laws, covering
investment, business, civil service, the penal code, corruption,
land tenure, and much more. The assembly will also call each
minister to explain his policies and actions, with one minister
called each week. Igga is expected to use procedural rules,
however, to block any discussions on corruption. End Summary.

-----------------------------------
Speaker Wants for Action, Hard Work
-----------------------------------

2. (U) During his speech, Igga called on the members to work
diligently to pass urgently needed laws. Because no legislation was
passed on the previous session, which focused on Kiir's policy
statement and the budget, Southern Sudan is currently without any
enforceable laws. Igga explained that, for example, the proposed
land law could resolve the current dispute over control of Juba
between the state and federal government (septel). Many lawmakers
believe they will have to work overtime and extend their three-month
session in order to make it through the thousands of pages of laws
that the government has proposed.

3. (U) During his speech, the speaker also congratulated his
colleagues for their work in the first session, including their
primary accomplishment of raising the military's budget to 40
percent of expenditures. He said this was a just reward for the
sacrifices the SPLA made during the war. Igga also applauded the
efforts of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) talks to bring peace,
and called on the SPLM to find a way to resolve the impasse between
Khartoum and the international community over Darfur.

---------------------------------------
Anti-Corruption Again Takes A Back Seat
---------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Several members of the SSLA privately complained to
Consulate General (CG) officials that Igga would again stop any
frank discussion on corruption from reaching the assembly's floor.
Several MPs believe that the previous session ended abruptly in
order to silence any criticism of the SPLM leaders and head off any
investigation into corrupt practices. They fear that Igga will use
a procedural rule, that motions submitted by the government take
precedence over ones from the floor, to continue to cut off debate.
When PolOff asked Igga about addressing corruption in the SSLA, Igga
responded that while anti-corruption is a very important activity,
the passing of laws must take priority if Southern Sudan is to
develop. Igga also mentioned that GoSS motions are required to be
discussed first, and that this would easily take up all the time of
the assembly.

5. (U) Note: Previous reporting indicated that the session that
opened in April 2006 was the second session. The SSLA has now
decided to begin numbering from the April session, rather than the
brief, earlier pre-session. End Note.

POWERS

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