U.S says military assistance to South Sudan part of peace
Daniel Danis | October 13, 2016 | 2:48 pm       
A US military expert trains SPLA soldiers in an unidentified location   
A US military expert trains SPLA soldiers in an unidentified location

The U.S Embassy in Juba says a decision to allow for the provision of
assistance on Military Education and Training, and Peacekeeping
Operations to South Sudan, is to help the implementation of the peace
agreement.

A statement by the embassy today says it is a partial waiver that does
not indicate a U.S. government intention to expand assistance to South
Sudan.

Two weeks ago, a White House Presidential memoranda indicated that
South Sudan will benefit from military aid in form of training and
education under the Child Soldiers Prevention Act waiver.

The waiver directed the State Department to initiate programs of
assistance to South Sudan, despite recent reports by UNICEF that
children in the country are still being forcefully recruited into the
armed forces.
The Child Soldiers Prevention Act is supposed to ban provision of
military assistance to nations that use child soldiers.

However, the embassy in Juba today clarified that this is a partial
waiver granted by President Obama to ensure the U.S. government can
continue to provide financial assistance to the Ceasefire and
Transitional Security Monitoring Mechanism, which is charged with
monitoring ceasefire violations.

“This waiver was necessary to ensure the U.S. government can continue
to provide financial assistance to support implementation of the peace
agreement, especially to the body known as the Ceasefire and
Transitional Security Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM), which is charged
with monitoring ceasefire violations. Without this waiver, the United
States would be unable to support ceasefire monitoring, a critical
activity given ongoing hostilities,” the statement reads.

“This waiver is similar to one issued one year ago, has no relation to
the deliberations in New York over the possibility of imposing a UN
Security Council arms embargo, and does not mark any change in U.S.
policy towards South Sudan,” it said.

The statementsays that the United States is currently prohibited from
providing new assistance to the Government of South Sudan until the
government takes effective steps to end hostilities and pursue good
faith negotiations for a political settlement of the current conflict.

“Moreover, this partial waiver does not indicate a U.S. government
intention to expand assistance to South Sudan,” the embassy in Juba
says in a statement.

The ban is in place until the government ends hostilities and agrees
to pursue good faith negotiations for a political settlement of the
current conflict, and provide access for humanitarian organizations.

It also demands an end to the recruitment and use of child soldiers,
protection of freedoms of expression, association, and assembly.

The law also restricts new military assistance to South Sudan until
the government reduces corruption related to the extraction and sale
of oil and gas.

It requires the establishment of democratic institutions, including
accountable military and policy forces under civilian authority in
South Sudan.

The statement by the U.S embassy further says the only exception in
this law is the humanitarian assistance; in which the United States
has provided nearly 1.9 billion dollars in emergency humanitarian
since December 2013.

The US also reiterated its calls on South Sudan’s leaders to
prioritize the safety and security of the citizens they represent and
to allow access to those in need.

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