US Pledges $90m to South Sudan on Condition of Peace

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The US has pledged an extra $90m of aid to South Sudan following the arrival of Riek Machar, but threatened fresh sanctions if the country’s reunited leaders fail to establish peace.

Riek Machar returned to the capital Juba this week, after a series of delays, to reunite with President Riek Machar and implement the nation’s peace deal, signed by the pair last August. The international community has voiced growing frustrations at the continued delays in ending South Sudan’s conflict.

 

US pledges additional aid

The US was a key supporter of South Sudan gaining independence from Sudan, which became a reality in 2011. However, peace didn’t last long for the world’s youngest nation. Civil war broke out after President Kiir – the nation’s only leader to date – fired a group of primary officials, including then-vice-president Riek Machar.

Machar and his supporters were accused of attempting a coup to seize control from the president and war broke out in December 2013. Since then the US has provided an estimated $1.6bn humanitarian assistance to South Sudan.

Patience with the country’s handling of its civil conflict has been growing shorter with growing pressure being placed on Kiir and Machar to put aside their differences in the interest of peace.

The US has now pledged a further $90m in aid, but stated clearly it expects to see continued efforts to establish peace in South Sudan by a transitional government set up by the country’s leaders.

“Specifically, we expect the transitional government to adhere to core humanitarian principles and to change past policy and practice to ensure aid reaches those in need without regard to ethnic or political discrimination,” the US State Department said.

 

South Sudan still waiting for its transitional government

Machar’s return to Juba has been highly anticipated since President Kiir announced in February he would be reinstated as the country’s vice president. The peace deal signed by Kiir and his rival Machar in August requires a transitional government to be established in the country, which effectively splits power between the president and his opposition rival.

Machar’s return is supposed to mark the beginning of that transitional government being formed. However, delays in the vice president’s arrival to Juba has also held up the administrative process.