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South Sudanese president signs NGO Bill into law

February 11, 2016 (JUBA) — South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir has signed into law the non-governmental oganisation (NGOs) Bill into law, despite global pressure to delay it.

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President Salva Kiir addresses the nation at the South Sudan National Parliament in Juba, November 18, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Jok Solomon)

The presidential spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny confirmed the Bill’s signing on Thursday.

The law empowers a government appointed registrar to monitor the work of humanitarian organizations and employ at least 80% South Sudanese. Non citizens will loss their jobs to give way for nationals. A failure to observe the law will attract 3 years in prison or fine of 50,000 South Sudanese Pounds or both.

“The president signed the NGO bills into law today and it has become an act of parliament now, which is capable of being implemented by the law implementers,” Ateny told Sudan Tribune by phone Thursday.

The president also signed relief and rehabilitation bill into law. The South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission is empowered to monitor and streamline NGO operation.

About 4 millions South Sudanese rely on humanitarian assistance for food, medicine and education. Various NGOs and several other western diplomats had earlier urged President Kiir not to sign the bill which was passed by parliament last week.

Humanitarian agencies said such a law will impede the work of reaching to the most vulnerable people in the world’s youngest nation..

(ST)