US calls for immediate end of conflict as South Sudan celebrates independence

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - The US Secretary of State has lamented that as South Sudan's 7th independence anniversary arrives, Southern Sudanese are actually suffering war and displacement instead of rejoicing the fruits of their long struggle for independence.

Michael R. Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, congratulated the people of the Republic of South Sudan on the seventh anniversary of their nation’s independence.

Speaking on behalf of his country’s government, Pompeo pointed out that this should be a day of celebration marking South Sudan’s emergence as an independent state and the beginning of a new era of greater peace and prosperity.

“Instead,” he said, "the conflict that broke out in December 2013 continues to impose immense suffering on South Sudan’s diverse citizens. They have already paid a heavy price for their leaders’ divisions: driven from their homes, facing life-threatening hunger, and subjected to unspeakable cruelty.”

The American diplomat, citing the ongoing talks in Khartoum, supervised by Sudan’s head of state, Omar Bashir, stressed that “for July 9 to be a real celebration, the fighting must stop everywhere, and South Sudanese leaders must make the tough choices to put aside narrow self-interest and put the needs of the nation first.”

He urged the southern Sudanese government and opposition, to “immediately stop the bloodshed and genuinely resolve their differences through dialogue that reflects the voices of a broad spectrum of society.

"Only when the fighting stops can South Sudan begin on a path towards inclusive economic growth and genuine reconciliation.”

He said the US remains a friend of the South Sudanese people. “We stand ready to work with responsible leaders who are willing to deliver peace, opportunity, and justice which the people of South Sudan have long awaited.”
-0- PANA MO/VAO 9July2018

09 july 2018 18:52:47

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