Transparency International has named South Sudan among countries that are highly corrupt in its 2016 index.
According to the organization, South Sudan ranks second to Somalia as country where corruption is highly rampant.
The Transparency International finding highlights the connection between corruption and inequality in 176 countries across the world.
The organization says the two depend on each other to create a vicious circle between corruption, unequal distribution of power in society, and unequal distribution of wealth.
The new result shows an increase in the rate of corruption in each country compared to the previous year’s result.
“In too many countries, people are deprived of their most basic needs and go to bed hungry every night because of corruption, while the powerful and corrupt enjoy lavish lifestyles with impunity,” says José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.
He said more countries declined than improved in this year’s results, showing the urgent need for committed action to thwart corruption.
In the previous year’s result, South Sudan was the fifth, behind Sudan, Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia topping the list.
Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland are the top five least corrupt countries.
The report says higher-ranked countries tend to have higher degrees of press freedom, access to information about public expenditure, stronger standards of integrity for public officials, and independent judicial systems.
A 2013 report about corruption in South Sudan indicated that the vice spreads across all sectors of the economy and all levels of the state apparatus.
It says since independence, South Sudan has taken steps to promote transparency and accountability to fight corruption, but lack of capacity, resources and political will often hamper effective implementation.
In September 2016, The Sentry in a corruption report showed that South Sudan’s top leaders, including President Kiir, SPLA Chief of General Staff Paul Malong and former first vice President Dr Riek Machar “appear to have accumulated significant wealth since 2005”.
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