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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06KHARTOUM1168 2006-05-16 17:20:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Khartoum
Cable title:  

SOUTHERN LEGISLATURE RECOMMENDS INCREASED

Tags:   PGOV EFIN MCAP SU 
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1. (U) On May 10, the Southern Sudanese Legislative
Assembly (SSLA) convened to consider recommendations by
the Standing Committee on Development, Finance and
Economy to change portions of the 2006 budget submitted
to the SSLA by the Ministry of Finance. The big winner
was the Sudan People's Liberation Army, which had
initially been budgeted at 15 percent of non-Multi Donor
Trust Fund (MDTF) revenues, or USD 200 million. The
Standing Committee recommended that this budget be
increased to 40 percent of revenues, or USD 536 million.



2. (U) There were lesser tweaks, including 3 percent of
non-MDTF revenues, or USD 39 million, for the
Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Each SSLA MP can
theoretically access CDF fund through the SSLA
Constituency Committee to fund develop projects within
his/her constituency. The bill also included a loan
program by which MPs can purchase cars, an increase in
funding for SSLA committees, and various recommendations
for altering line items contained in the budgets of
various ministries. The bill called for less spending on
international travel, among other recommendations for
improving GoSS fiscal performance. Finally, the bill
noted concern about the "top-down" approach to budgeting
employed in this cycle, which it termed contradictory to
a "bottom-up" approach consistent with decentralization.



3. (SBU) Various MPs told CG after the approval by
acclimation of the report that the deal was done, and the
2006 budget would reflect these changes. In an SPLM
caucus before the May 10 session, the majority of SPLM
MPs supported increased funding for the SPLA drawn from
the budget reserve. Five ministers, including Legal
Affairs Minister Makwei and Youth and Sports Minister
John Luk Jok, unsuccessfully argued to keep the SPLA
budget at the proposed initial level and hold the reserve
for unexpected contingencies. According to the MPs, both
GoSS President Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar had
vetted and approved the SPLA increase. Although the bill
did not state how ,QlCZsMQQQQ
ranks.



4. (SBU) Comment: It is our understanding that the
higher budget for the SPLA is a one-time arrangement to
address urgent needs and does not necessarily reflect a
permanent budget trend. If the money is spent wisely,
especially for DDR and necessary military downsizing, the
increase in the military budget could yield positive
results. The GoSS Council of Ministers was much less
pleased with MPs refusal to budge on funding the CDF.
This initiative is loosely defined and looks on the
surface to be a form of mainline pork-barreling. CG Juba
will forward a copy of the final 2006 budget as soon as
it is released. End Comment

HUME