America's tough conditions for financial aid to South Sudan

Thursday October 13 2016

An SPLA soldier is pictured behind a South Sudan flag as he sits on the back of a pick-up truck in Bentiu, Unity state January 12, 2014. The US has dismissed claims that it provided military assistance to SPLA after war broke out in December 2013. PHOTO | REUTERS

The US has revived calls to suspend financial aid to the South Sudan government over massive corruption and gross human rights violations.

A statement released by the US embassy in Juba on Thursday disclosed that the American law currently prohibits new assistance to Juba until the government takes effective steps to end hostilities and pursue good faith negotiations for a political settlement of the current conflict.

The other conditions for the US financial aid include providing access for humanitarian organisations; ending the use of child soldiers; protecting freedoms of expression, association and assembly; reducing corruption related to the extraction and sale of oil and gas; and establishing strong democratic institutions.

“The United States continues to urge South Sudan to take these steps which we believe would substantially contribute to stabilisation and development,” the statement reads.

An important exception to this prohibition was humanitarian assistance, according to the statement.

The US has provided nearly $1.9 billion in emergency humanitarian assistance to the people of South Sudan since December 2013.


The embassy statement dismissed recent reports by the local media that the US had provided military assistance to South Sudan.

“Following the outbreak of the conflict in December 2013, the US government suspended its programme of non-lethal assistance to the SPLA.

"This programme, which operated from 2006-2013, was designed to help professionalise the SPLA and was developed by the United States at the request of the late Dr John Garang de Mabior.

“The US government has not resumed operation of this programme and has not provided military assistance to the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GORSS) or to the armed opposition since December 2013,” the statement reads.

The release, however, acknowledged that the US had provided support to the regional effort by the African Union to counter the Lord’s Resistance Army, which includes a limited SPLA role and also provided support to the security institutions established by the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.

The world’s supper power further expressed serious dismay at the use of child soldiers in the young nation to fight for the interests of political leaders.

The South Sudan conflict has rendered at least 2.7 million people homeless, according to the UN.

South Sudan continues to experience widespread violence since Dr Riek Machar fled from Juba in July and was quickly replaced by his former chief negotiator General Taban Deng Gai as vice-president.