South Sudan opposition slams Washington’s continued military aid to Juba

African News Agency (ANA)

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – In Opposition (SPLM-IO) has slammed the United States for its decision to continue providing military aid to South Sudan’s government under the leadership of President Salva Kiir.

“On Friday, President Barack Obama issued a decision to continue US military assistance to troubled South Sudan despite the use of child soldiers in the country and against the suggestion by the international community to impose arms embargo on the nation,” the Sudan Tribune reported on Sunday.

Obama’s waiver circumvents the 2008 Child Soldiers Prevention Act, which is meant to block military assistance to countries recruiting children in their armies.

“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 James Gatdet Dak, opposition leader Riek Machar’s spokesman.

The opposition said this support would also help Juba to continue its offensive against Machar’s fighters, thereby continuing the civil war which has crippled the world’s newest nation.

Meanwhile, Kiir has dispatched a high-level delegation to Yei state over the rising insecurity in the area south of Juba, where roads have been blocked by armed local forces allied to the SPLM-IO.

The delegation flew into Yei on Saturday with a mission to ascertain the root causes of the rising insecurity in the state and to outline a plan for resolving the disturbances.

The Tribune reported that the delegation is being led by the former governor of Central Equatoria state, Clement Wani Konga, who is the current presidential advisor for special affairs with Daniel Awet Akot, presidential advisor on political affairs.

The delegation arrived in Yei just hours after 21 people were killed, and scores injured, when a number of commercial vehicles were ambushed by gunmen.

The identity of the group responsible for the attacks remained unclear. However, Juba accused dissident armed youths, allied to Machar, of being behind the attacks.

There have been regular clashes between rival forces in Yei state with opposition forces threatening to close all the roads in the state and attack towns.

The delegation is expected to hold a public rally on Monday after meeting with security institutions, parliamentary members, and religious and traditional leaders.

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