The governor of Eastern Equatoria says he has banned mining activities in some areas of the state because they are not benefiting the citizens.
Louis Lobong Lojore accused some individuals of illegally mining without the approval of the government.
Gold and other minerals can be found in the areas of Napotpot and along Singaita River in Kapoeta Counties.
Last year, a corruption report revealed that some government officials, their relatives, and their close business associates have nurtured a weak regulatory environment to exploit gold in Kapoeta area.
The Sentry alleged that government officials have also issued licenses independently of the central government, a probable violation of South Sudan’s Mining Act.
This morning, Governor Louis Lobong told Eye Radio’s Dawn Program that he launched a major crackdown on illegal gold mining and other minerals in Eastern Equatoria state.
“There were some small scale mining when I went recently, I banned it and there is no anymore mining by this small scale mining because it was creating problem,” said the governor of Eastern Equatoria State.
“People assume that it is the government doing it and this was done by individuals they have some detector machines and it was not benefiting even the government.”
“The majority of them have been doing that without approval, some were getting approval given some conditions which they don’t follow. So because of that I have banned it.”
“This thing is done in darkness by the people in the bushes and were are not able to control them.”
Experts warn that without swift action, South Sudan’s mining sector may fall into the same traps as the oil sector.
They say if South Sudanese are to benefit from the country’s mineral wealth, financial institutions should take immediate steps to identify and monitor the bank accounts of those in power, their business networks, families, and inner circles.
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