September 4, 2014 (JUBA) – The Dutch government announced Thursday that it had cut aid to South Sudan, citing gross human rights violations in the country, as well as the lack of commitment by its leaders to end the ongoing conflict.
- Lillianne Plouman (L) with an unidentified Dutch official in Juba September 4, 2014 (ST)
“We have decided to stop cooperation with the government at this point,” Lillianne Plouman, the Dutch minister of foreign trade and development cooperation told reporters in the capital, Juba.
“We feel that the government and the opposition should put more weight behind the peace process and should show more progress in the peace process,” she added.
Advocacy groups and the United Nations have accused the two South Sudanese rivals of committing crimes against civilians during the conflict that has killed thousands and displaced nearly 1.5 million people.
The minister said her government had withdrawn support to train the police, army officers and diplomats as part of its capacity building programs in South Sudan.
“One of the reasons that have been very worried about is about what happened on December and after that. For example in Malakal in April has to do with violation of human rights. There is no reason at all why innocent women who were in a hospital had to suffer the way that the suffered,” she said.
The Dutch minister said her government was equally concerned about cases of harassment on media practitioners.
“There is no reason why not all voices in the country can be heard,” said Plouman.
“The Netherlands will continue to work with different organisations and churches to support programs for development,” she added.