Serious fighting approaching civil war has broken out among ethnic factions in the army of newly independent South Sudan. Over the weekend, the United States evacuated American citizens from a rebel-held town there.
America is South Sudan’s largest aid donor, having provided more than $11 billion in recent years. It played an important role in obtaining South Sudan’s independence from Sudan in 2011.
Some of the U.S. aid is in military equipment and training, even though South Sudan uses child soldiers. Washington should cut off such aid if the killings within the army don’t stop.
Fighting in South Sudan risks spreading to neighboring African countries. The United Nations estimates as many as 500 people have been killed, including three of its peacekeepers from India. The Obama Administration reportedly is considering the deployment of U.S. Marines to help evacuate more Americans from the capital, Juba.
All factions in South Sudan need to be told that U.S. aid will stop immediately if the fighting goes on.