Washington, DC, US (PANA) - The United States has pledged its continued assistance to South Sudan to help it to meet the challenges it faces and build a free, democratic and inclusive society, one that is at peace both internally and with its neighbors.
''The strong ties between the people of our two nations go back many decades, and we are committed to building upon this partnership in the years to come,'' a US State Department release issued here quoted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as saying in a message to mark South Sudan's first independence anniversary Monday.
The statement said South Sudan had been hard at work over the past year building governing structures and a foundational legal framework, and expressed US admiration for the African country's efforts to provide security, accountability and systemic respect for human rights is admirable.
''Despite the progress, significant challenges remain that threaten stability and prosperity. Conflict and unresolved issues with Sudan and domestic inter-ethnic tensions have led to increased fighting and economic hardship, which threatens to compromise the very
foundation on which South Sudan’s future will be built.
''There are many challenges, but the South Sudanese people have repeatedly demonstrated their capacity to overcome great odds. We are hopeful that this new beginning for the people of South Sudan will continue to be used as an opportunity to build a nation that embodies the values and aspirations of its people, and that South Sudan can emerge from the shadows of conflict and turmoil,'' the statement said.
South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011, the culmination of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that was signed in 2005 to end decades of civil war in the old Sudan.
In a referendum that was held 9-15 January 2011 to determine if South Sudan should declare its independence from Sudan, 98.83% of the population voted for independence.
-0- PANA SEG 9July2012