South Sudan will spend half of its budget on military expenditure in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, Finance Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau said on Tuesday.
The minister told the parliament that the draft budget amounts to about 400 million dollars.
“Less than half of the budget will be earmarked for education, the health sector and other services,’’ he said.
South Sudan’s health and educational sectors have been devastated by a military conflict that erupted between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar in December 2013.
“The country, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011, was already one of the least developed in Africa.
“The formation of a unity government in April was due to end the warfare, but fighting erupted again in July, sending Machar into exile.
“An important oil producer, South Sudan has spent 60 per cent of its oil revenues on military expenses during the conflict, Dhieu said.
Edmund Yakani, from the student-driven organization, Community for Empowerment and Progress said that South Sudan’s military spending is the highest in the region.
“The army and military budget is hurting other key sectors such as health, education and infrastructure,” he said. (dpa/NAN)
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