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US lawmakers condemn the violence in South Sudan

Author : | Published: Thursday, January 16, 2014

US lawmakers have condemned the violence in South Sudan and called on leaders to immediately quell the fighting and reach a peaceful settlement.

A hearing on South Sudan in the US Congress yesterday raised issues of governance and the potential damage the crisis is having in South Sudan.

Ed Royce is the Chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

He told the hearing that South Sudan poses a threat to itself if it does not resolve its differences immediately.

“The people of South Sudan sacrificed themselves for decades to achieve independence. That makes the latest round of fighting – largely attributable to the leadership’s unwillingness to build an inclusive and viable South Sudan – all the more infuriating. Indeed it appears that the greatest threat to South Sudan post-independence is South Sudan itself. This is a depressing picture for many in Washington,” he said.

Mr. Royce urged the US government to toughen its stance on individual leaders in South Sudan so that the crisis is resolved.

He said the US, South Sudan’s biggest donor since 2005, must carefully consider cutting aid to the country.

“I understand the administration is now considering a proposal to target those political leaders responsible for the latest atrocities, and I will say it is about time. And it is useful to remind the leadership of South Sudan that significant US assistance is at stake,” he said.

“At the end of the day, resolving this crisis is first and foremost the responsibility of the South Sudanese. Leaders must put their country first. History will remember,  for better or worse, the actions they take in the coming days and weeks,” Mr Royce added.

Members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs said South Sudan risks losing about $600m per year from the US government if its government and rebels do not end the wave of violence.



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