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South Sudan needs "Cautious" Humanitarian Aid

Through its humanitarian affairs minister, Hussein Mar Nyout, the government of South Sudan has said it requires $1.5 billion for a post-conflict recovery plan for 2019. Well, this is one of those issues that you find yourself conflicted about. While I do not have any doubt that Juba needs aid to handle its post (hope that is the case) conflict situation, I am at once concerned that - given the structural deficits and institutional breakdown in that country - pumping money into South Sudan on humanitarian grounds carries with it a real risk of exacerbating the official corruption that is already rampant and even fanning new wave of violence that may cause a relapse into armed conflict. 

South Sudan is now a victim and a good example of what I call the "Liberian syndrome." Any money into South Sudan without thoughtful measures can easily fuel a relapse. My friend used to say that it is a combination of weapons, ignorance, alcohol and money that led to the civil war in South Sudan. That was mean of him. But. Give your billions to some of the thoughtless armed and drunk criminals who run the Juba administration and you will know that you don't know! Humanitarian aid to South Sudan at this delicate moment must be highly regulated if it is to reach and help the most vulnerable citizens of that country and if we are to guard against its abuse that has a potential to be catastrophic. Perhaps, we need the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) more in South Sudan today to support the recovery process than it was during the actual mediation (conferencing) phase of the peace process. Tragically, peace has been equated to the signing of a peace agreement whose implementation is very unlikely. 

South Sudan needs "Cautious" Humanitarian Aid South Sudan needs "Cautious" Humanitarian Aid Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on November 22, 2018 Rating: 5

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