The Trump administration will review all assistance programs to South Sudan, citing frustration with the lack of progress in reaching a peace agreement to end the violence in the country.
“The American people are generous and loyal. We have endeavored to help the people of South Sudan,” a statement released by the White House said Tuesday. “It is, however, the responsibility of the South Sudanese Government to protect and provide for its own citizens.”
The statement said the United States was a “proud and hopeful supporter” of the fledgling country when it gained independence in 2011. But it blamed the government of failing to live up to its commitments.
It said the leaders of South Sudan have for seven years “pilfered the wealth of South Sudan, killed their own people, and repeatedly demonstrated their inability and unwillingness to live up to their commitments to end the country’s civil war.”
The White House also cited the forced exile of key leaders and the promotion of individuals sanctioned by the United Nations to top government positions as a point of concern, pointing to the appointment last week of Gabriel Jok Riak as the new head of the military.
The review, the statement said, was aimed at condemning “any unilateral effort of the current government of South Sudan to extend its power through sham elections, the legislature or continued military offensives.”
It is unclear when the final results of the review will be announced.