Aid group accuses South Sudan’s government of pursuing “control techniques”

Juba, January 6, 2016 (SSNA) — An evangelical Christian aid agency has accused South Sudanese government of trying to control operations of humanitarian organizations in South Sudan.

The accusation came less than a week after South Sudan’s lawmakers passed a bill, regulating nearly all non-governmental groups operating in the violence-ravaged young nation.

Samaritan’s Purse, one of aid agencies operating in South Sudan, said it is worries about some of the language in the bill and that South Sudan’s government main goal is to try to control the works of humanitarian organizations.

“Some of the language in the bill is going to make emergency relief work very complicated. In some ways, it’s reminiscent of control techniques,” Samaritan’s Purse Vice president for programs and government relations Ken Isaacs said.

South Sudanese national parliamentarians passed the regulative bill on the 2nd of February, saying aid agencies should not work freely in the country without government’s oversight.

However, the bill omits UN’s humanitarian group and the Red Cross.

The newly passed bill, if becomes law, it will be one of the restrictive bills against humanitarian organizations.

Some of the provisions in the bill allow the government to limit number of foreign workers to only 20 percent for each aid agency and requires any humanitarian group to obtain a yearly registration credential or faces expulsion.

The bill also requires aid groups to provide the government with their performance reports, disclose their budgets for the following year as the main requirement to renew their licenses, and list their financial assets. The bill further authorizes South Sudanese government to audit financial statements of all humanitarian organizations.

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