South Sudan paying US lobbyists $3.7M for better Trump ties

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JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan’s government is paying a U.S.-based lobby firm $3.7 million to improve its relationship with the Trump administration and to block a path to justice for victims of the country’s five-year civil war.

The two-year contract, seen by The Associated Press, was signed earlier this month by South Sudan’s government and Gainful Solutions, a lobbying firm run by former U.S. Ambassador Michael Ranneberger.

The contract says the company was hired to, among other things, attempt to “delay and ultimately block establishment of the hybrid court.” The long-delayed court is a key part of South Sudan’s fragile peace deal signed in September and is meant to hold accountable those responsible for war crimes in a conflict that killed nearly 400,000 people.

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