U.S President Barack Obama has issued a memorandum allowing for the provision of assistance on Military Education and Training, and Peacekeeping Operations to South Sudan.
This comes after the State Department provided a list of countries that are still recruiting children in armed conflicts under the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008.
The act bans provision of military assistance to nations that use child soldiers.
According to the White House Presidential memoranda, the waiver which is determined yearly enables the U.S government to provide military assistance to countries it deems important to its national security interest.
This year, South Sudan will benefit from military aid in form of training and education, despite recent reports by UNICEF that children in the country are still being forcefully recruited into the armed forces.
The Child Soldiers Prevention Act is supposed to ban provision of military assistance to nations that use child soldiers.
But President Obama directed the State Department to initiate programs of assistance to South Sudan under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014.
The White House statement says Obama determined that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive such ban on South Sudan.
The State Department has been authorized and directed to submit this position to the Congress, along with the accompanying Memorandum of Justification, and to publish the determination in the Federal Register.
The assistance will be directed at supporting the Peacekeeping operations of the UN and training of the SPLA.
According to a report by the Small Arms Survey in Geneva, the US has provided assistance in form of training and equipping of the elite presidential guard; employment of foreign instructors to teach SPLA recruits; development of riverine forces; training of commandos.
It also provided funds for the establishment of a noncommissioned officers academy, deployment of a training advisory team, renovation of a training center at the SPLA Command and Staff College; and the construction of the headquarters of two SPLA divisions.
It is not clear what sort of assistance the US will provide South Sudan this year after the waiver by President Obama.
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