We are here today in Washington, D.C., in solidarity with the people of South Sudan, who are in desperate need of help. Despite a Cessation of Hostilities agreement, fighting has continued, causing tremendous suffering and large-scale displacement inside and outside the country. This is a man-made disaster. All parties need to urgently work together to create the conditions for peace and stability to return to South Sudan.
The U.S. government, including many members of Congress, has been a strong supporter of the welfare of the people of South Sudan for decades—throughout Sudan’s civil war, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement period, and since independence in 2011. We are all deeply alarmed by the horrific violence now threatening their hard-won struggle for independence—especially today, which marks the third anniversary of the conclusion of South Sudan’s referendum, in which an overwhelming 99 percent of the South Sudanese people voted to form the world’s youngest nation. The people of South Sudan have endured far too many years of conflict and bloodshed to see peace slip away.
South Sudan’s development challenges are daunting. This region, historically within the Sudanese provinces of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria, and Upper Nile but now divided into the 10 southern states of Sudan, is home to over 110 ethnic groups, many of whom suffer from some of the world’s worst socio-economic conditions.
Last updated: January 29, 2015