U.S. explains military support extention for S. Sudan

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October 15, 2016 (JUBA) – The U.S said the military support recently
pledged by President Barack Obama for South Sudan will be directed to
the body monitoring the permanent ceasefire, not the country’s
national army.

JPEG - 55.9 kb
A U.S. Special Forces trainer conducts a military assault drill for a
unit within the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) during an
exercise in Nzara on the outskirts of Yambio November 29, 2013.
(Reuters/Andreea Campeanu Photo)

"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," the U.S embassy in Juba said in
a statement extended issued last Friday.

The waiver was wrongly understood to translate to military training
for SPLA, the South Sudan army. Washington, however, said the "waiver
does not indicate" assistance to Juba. Americans provided military
advise to the SPLA between 2006 and 2013 but halted the assistance
when fighting broke out and the army split between loyalists of
President Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar.

The embassy said the U.S would not extend any help to the fledging
army before some provisions are met by Juba. Currently, the embassy
stressed, there is no legal basis for South Sudan military to benefit
from American resources.

The U.S urge the young nation to end hostilities and pursue good faith
negotiations for a political settlement of the current conflict;
provide access for humanitarian organizations; end the recruitment and
use of child soldiers; protect freedoms of expression, association,
and assembly.

It also said Juba must reduce corruption related to the extraction and
sale of oil and gas and establish democratic institutions, including
accountable military and policy forces under civilian authority as
conditions to widen opportunities to access Washington financial and
advisory support.

"The United States continues to urge South Sudan to take these steps
which we believe would substantially contribute to stabilization and
development," the stressed.

As South Sudan’s largest donor, the Washington played a leading role
in the process that led to the country’s independence from
neighbouring Sudan in July 2011.


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