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Darfur-minister criticises ‘imbalance in DRA’s use of funds and resources’

January 5 - 2015 NYALA
Tajeldin Bashir Niyam, DRA Minister of Reconstruction, Development and Infrastructure (Ashorooq TV, ST)
Tajeldin Bashir Niyam, DRA Minister of Reconstruction, Development and Infrastructure (Ashorooq TV, ST)

The Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) is underperforming, and neglecting development projects in the region, according to the Authority’s Minister of Reconstruction, Development, and Infrastructure.

Minister Tajeldin Bashir Niyam strongly criticised the “management of the DRA and its ministries, which have led to a large imbalance in the utilisation of its funds and resources”.

At a meeting with the Employers’ Federation in Nyala, capital of South Darfur, on Sunday, he said that the lack of accountability at the DRA has contributed to the deteriorating situation.

“If the $2 billion of DRA funds had been used appropriately, it would have changed many Darfuri lives. But most of that money went into some people’s pockets. The total amount used for projects and infrastructure in Darfur does not exceed $200 million.”

“No one is holding the Darfur Regional Authority accountable.”

Niyam blamed the members of the Employers’ Federation for not intervening. “Your silence is the biggest problem, as no one is holding the DRA accountable.”

The Minister also questioned why the chairman of the Darfur Reconstruction Fund was appointed recently, more than four years after the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) was signed, while the DRA mandate will expire in July this year. He added, however, that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) may extend the mandate, saying that “despite its deficiencies, the DRA represents a gain for the government”.

The DRA Minister, who is also a leading member of the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), that signed the DDPD in May 2011, submitted his resignation last September over disagreements with DRA head and LJM leader El Tijani Sese over his policies and management style. Prominent Darfuri leaders convinced Niyam to reconsider his decision, and stay at his post.

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