Statement on the South Sudan Conflict on the 4th Anniversary of its Independence

Press Statement
John Kirby
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 9, 2015

Today should be a time for celebration in South Sudan, but it is overshadowed by the tragic costs of conflict. Since December 2013 thousands have been killed, more than 2.2 million displaced, and 4.6 million people remain at risk of life-threatening hunger. Both the government and the armed opposition are responsible for ongoing military actions, violations of international humanitarian law, and widespread human rights abuses against civilians, including horrific crimes against women and children. The country’s economy is also deteriorating as its leaders squander its oil wealth on a senseless war.

The South Sudanese legislature’s decision to temporarily extend the government takes effect today. The extension must be used for one purpose: to secure a peace deal immediately and form a transitional government of national unity. We urge all sides to finally put the people of South Sudan first and demonstrate the leadership necessary to forge a lasting peace. The United States along with our Troika (the UK and Norway) and EU partners stand steadfast in our support to the people of South Sudan on today’s anniversary and for the long term.