US pledges $133 million aid for South Sudan refugees

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The United States has pledged nearly $133 million in additional humanitarian assistance to South Sudanese refugees and internally displaced people, the country’s State Department has said.

The aid comes amid discussions over whether the US should cut its aid to the world’s youngest nation that is trying to recover from a two-year civil war.

Secretary of State John Kerry last month said the US humanitarian assistance to South Sudan will not go on forever if the country’s leaders “are not prepared to do what’s necessary for their people.”

The number of refugees from South Sudan surpassed the one million mark earlier this month, joining Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia in that category.

The country that only seceded from Sudan in 2011 went to war in December 2013 following President Salva Kiir’s claims that his then vice president Riek Machar was plotting a coup against his government.

Machar refuted the claims but went on o mobilize a rebel force to fight the government.

A peace deal was signed last year, paving way for the return of Machar to the capital Juba in March this year, where he took up the position of first vice president.

In July however, forces loyal to the two leaders clashed again, forcing Machar to flee the capital. He was then replaced by Taban Deng Gai as first vice president.

The United States has given nearly $1.9 billion in aid to South Sudan since the civil war started.

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