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.
- 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.