The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has welcomed the US memorandum which allows for provision of assistance on military education and training, and peacekeeping operations to South Sudan.
According to the White House Presidential memoranda, the waiver, which was issued by President Barack Obama, enables the U.S government to provide military assistance to countries it deems important to its national security interest.
This year, South Sudan will benefit from military aid in form of training and education, despite recent reports of human rights violations by the South Sudan army.
“US government has realized that the government of the Republic of Sudan is willing to bring back normalcy in the country,” Amb Mawien Makol, spokesman, said. “And any assistance that is rendered to us here as
“And any assistance that is rendered to us here as a government will be much appreciated regarding the current efforts that we are doing.”
However, the move comes after the US State Department provided a list of countries that are still recruiting children in armed conflicts under the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008.
The act bans provision of military assistance to nations that use child soldiers.
South Sudanese SPLM-In Opposition criticized the United States (U.S.) for renewing military support to the government under the leadership of President Salva Kiir, saying it was a “wrong decision” to support an army that allegedly “rapes, tortures and kills” civilians in the country.
The opposition group also said the support would help the government to afford the ongoing civil war and encourage it to continue with the military offensives against the opposition forces under the leadership of the ousted former First Vice President, Riek Machar.
While the South Sudanese government has welcomed what it described as a positive policy shift by the U.S. and the “right thing to do,” the opposition faction l, said this showed how the outgoing U.S. administration had “confused” on how to approach the situation in South Sudan.
“This is a very unfortunate wrong decision to support the regime’s army which has committed documented civilian massacres, war crimes and crimes against humanity for the past three years,” said opposition leader’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, in reaction to the U.S. military assistance to Juba.
“The outgoing U.S. administration should not reward with military assistance an army known for killing and torturing ordinary citizens, and for raping women, including United States citizens, as recently occurred at Terrain Hotel in Juba. The United States should not reward the undisciplined army of the leadership whose soldiers shot at American diplomats within the vicinity of the Republican Palace in Juba. And why would the United States government support the factional army which has renewed the civil war in the country by violating the August 2015 peace agreement and has been on offensive against opposition forces in escalating the war,” Dak further inquired.
He suggested that the opposition faction would have expected the U.S. government to rather push for imposition of arms embargo on South Sudan’s government instead of supporting the government’s “war machinery” in the country.
Dak claimed that President Kiir’s government has not been directing the security sector budgets to security sector reforms but has been rather purchasing weapons to fight internal wars which he keeps on creating in order to maintain his dictatorial rule and give no chance for peace and democratic processes.
He challenged that supporting with military aid President Kiir’s army which is also commanded by some of the U.N. and U.S. sanctioned senior officers is a “great confusion” on the part of the “outgoing” U.S. administration on how to approach the situation in the country.