The head of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference challenged Government to admit it is bankrupt after it failed to raise the funds to host Independence Day celebrations for a third year running.

Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala of Tombura-Yambio, South Sudan, said it would be courageous for the government “to declare that there is no money in South Sudan.”

“When a country can no longer pay the interest on its debt or convince anyone to lend it money, it has reached bankruptcy,” Hiiboro said in a statement July 9, the sixth anniversary of South Sudan declaring its independence.

“The most obvious cause of this spotted state of bankruptcy of our beloved South Sudan includes civil war or financial mismanagement by the government.”

“Our early national struggles for political autonomy soon have led to the continuing struggle for economic freedom,” he said. “Freedom today includes human rights, minority rights, refugee rights and workers’ rights.”

Hiiboro also cited massive inflation, the plummeting stock prices and the value of the local currency, as well as the banks that were shutting down. He said no services are being provided, and no meaningful salaries are being paid.

At the same time, he urged the government to take courage and seek bailout abroad to avert bankruptcy or to cope with its effects.