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South Sudan spends $16m on cars for MPs

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South Sudan's 400 MPs have received a government loan of $40,000 (£30,300) each to buy cars for themselves, causing public anger.

A presidential spokesman defended the $16m expenditure, saying MPs could not be expected to "use motorbikes".

Critics have accused the government of rewarding MPs two weeks after they voted to extend President Salva Kiir's term to 2021.

The government says elections cannot be held because of the ongoing civil war.

More than half South Sudan's population is threatened with starvation - the food crisis is blamed largely on the conflict which broke out in 2013 between forces loyal to Mr Kiir and his sacked deputy, Riek Machar.

It has forced 3.8 million people to flee their homes, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).

Residents of South Sudan's capital, Juba, condemned the government for spending the money on cars rather than on development projects.

"Forty-thousand dollars per head is a lot of money. For what kind of transport is that?" one woman told the's BBC Newsday programme.

"The government is not caring about the situation of people. Is this corruption? Are MPs being given the money to silence them?" she added.

Source : BBC



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