In recent weeks the world has seen unprecedented crises and impact of Covid-19 on the human and economic cost. This pandemic has caused the death of friends and family to the physical effect of the infection and mental trauma and fear by everyone everywhere in our globe. Even the strongest nations and governments have been shocked and shacked by Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Not knowing how this pandemic will play out its effect on our economy, physical and mental well being can often lead to a feeling of panic and psychological stress which in turn related to lack of control in the face of uncertainty.
So, as the virus spread across the borders governments take different approaches to tackle the pandemic in a very compassionate and human way in which it will benefit their respective nations. Of course solidarity, compassion and cooperation among nations, business sectors and financial institutions and religious organizations and etc. is a paramount importance in this very moment.
Likewise, in the place where we are living, South Sudan, the government is undertaking different measures to tackle the spread of virus in a very coordinated force together with other nations.
As we are part of global citizen, we Eritreans who are residing and working in South Sudan are not exempted from facing the challenge and fear of this global pandemic.
Having this in mind, The Eritrean Ambassador to South Sudan, Mr. Yohannese Teklemichael called a few Eritrean nationals to his office and discussed how to mobilize Eritrean Doctors who are residing in South Sudan and assist the government of South Sudan but after he observed a positive reaction the Ambassador has changed his mind and made an autocratic decision with out having any further discussion with them.
Despite this entire panic and stressful situation, Ambassador Yohannese decided boldly and underlined all South Sudan Companies who are owned by Eritreans have to pay an obligatory cash from 2000 USD – 5000 USD depending on size and type of business. In addition all Eritrean residents of South Sudan are subjected to pay from 100 USD to 1500 USD depending on the type of work they are engaged in.
What most surprised us about the Ambassador is not his change of his plan and schedule but his attitude and his extortion tactics. And shamefully the intended purpose of this scenario is to send the money (if any) to the regime in Eritrea and to be used for non-coronavirus issues.
This Ambassador has the history of such scenarios, like purchasing the current Eritrean Embassy building and during his period in Dubai.
The Ambassador has further extended his decision and warned the Eritrean nationals or Companies, failure or declined to do so will lead to any action up to and including unable to get any service exclusively given by the Embassy here in Juba.
So, Ambassador Yohannes T/Michael has currently using the outbreak of Covid-19 as his playground to exercise his legitimate power in unlawful way to gain his personal and political gain at the expense of South Sudan companies founded by Eritreans, which eventually will have an effect in the economy of South Sudan. And with the current South Sudan economy and a flouting rate the Ambassador also dejects the use of South Sudanese pound in the entire Embassy works and has ordered all payments should be made in USD.
The Ambassador has given two directives, which will be administered by a task force of nine people lead by Engineer Amare Ghebreab.
- To Collect over One Million USD (1,000,000.00 USD) over a period of 14 days (two weeks) from over one hundred companies.
- Mandatory payments of thirty (30 USD) per month for every Eritrean citizen for full calendar year who resides in South Sudan for the crisis, which will be, created by the pandemic.
30*12 month = 360 expecting around 12000 Eritreans.
360 * 12000 = 4,320,000.00 (Four Million three hundred twenty thousand USD.)
Therefore, we call upon the government of South Sudan and its Law institutions to see the above matter, as we believe Ambassador Yohannese is committing an economic crime by subjecting South Sudan companies (though founded by foreigners) to payments which are unrelated to South Sudan.