S SUDAN: Parliament Passes Bill Limiting Foreign aid Workers

JUBA FEBRUARY 5, 2016(CISA)-South Sudan parliament have passed a bill restricting numbers of foreign aid workers working in the country.

The Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) bill, passed on February 3 says that no more than a fifth of aid workers can be from abroad. “Aid agencies must ensure that not less than 80 percent of the employees are South Sudanese nationals at all managerial, middle and junior levels,” the bill read, according to a copy seen by AFP.

The bill must still be signed by the president to pass into law. Aid agencies already employ large numbers of South Sudanese – often far higher than the 80 percent level now required -but not at senior levels or among technical specialists.

Civil war began in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Dr Riek Machar of planning a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings that have split the landlocked country along ethnic lines.

Tens of thousands have died in two years of war, more than 2.3 million people have been driven from their homes and 3.9 million South Sudanese face severe food shortages.

A similar bill was passed in May 2015, but was later sent back to parliament. According to reports, foreign agencies often provide the only source of healthcare for vast areas of the country.

At least 34 aid workers have been killed since the war began, and have repeatedly complained of harassment, surveillance and threats of expulsion.

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