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South Sudan

Salva's improbable Washington lobbyist

A mysterious new advocate for the Juba regime has surfaced in Washington as pressure mounts over corruption and political violence

President Salva Kiir Mayardit has organised an unlikely lobbying agreement covering sanctions relief and presidential meetings, ahead of his visit to the United States in December for President Joe Biden's summit with African Heads of State.

The little-known Rollan Roberts, a businessman who claims African diplomatic designation of His Excellency as Peace Ambassador to Nations from the International College of Peace Studies, has agreed a pro bono arrangement that will see him assist Salva Kiir who 'seeks to open a new chapter in South Sudan-US relations'.

Roberts has also been tasked with 'reviewing the cases of two sanctioned South Sudanese businessmen' and 'arranging meetings for South Sudan President with some former Presidents of the United States so he can seek guidance on effective leadership for running a democratic republic'.

Roberts is also President of the United States Center for Diplomacy, and a member of the ten person US Delegation to South Sudan, although unlike most of the delegation's members he does not have a background in politics or diplomacy.

Previously, the government in Juba had a more conventional $280,000 lobbying contract with AZ media, also with a view to helping to lift US sanctions (AC Vol 61 No 19, Juba shops for new image).

According to the filing via the Foreign Agents' Registration Act with the United States State Department, Roberts' will be working with Presidential Special Envoy Albino Aboug. Roberts will not be paid a fee but will be reimbursed for 'private jet rental, airfare, meals, fuel, transportation and rentals, and lodging accommodations,' according to the FARA filing.

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