Washington, DC, December 24, 2013 (SSNA) — The United States calls on South Sudanese president Salva Kiir and Former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar to immediately stop the ongoing political turmoil and work toward a solution to the conflict.
In a statement extended to the South Sudan News Agency, the U.S. advises both sides to cease the fighting so that a peaceful political solution to the conflict can be established.
“The United States urges all parties in the crisis in South Sudan to implement an immediate cessation of hostilities”, the statement said.
Fighting erupted on December 15th in Juba when one unit of the presidential guards was being suspected of incursion by another group.
At least 500 people have been killed, according to an initial estimate of the United Nations (UN). But, the number of people who were killed in Juba is believed to be higher.
The U.S also warned that it will not support any one who seeks power through violence or ethnic divisions.
“We hope and pray today that the leaders of South Sudan will acknowledge the international community’s commitment and understand that those who seek to take or hold power by violence or division along ethnic lines will not have our support and may be in violation of international law”, the statement reads in part.
Political differences among senior members of the South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) have been ongoing since 2012, but, deteriorated in July this year after Kiir dissolved his cabinet, claiming he wants new faces in his current administration.
“Violence today will not pave the way for a more stable or prosperous tomorrow”, adds the statement.
U.S. has been a big backer of South Sudan and helped the young nation gained its independence from Sudan in 2011.
On Wednesday, President Obama ordered the deployment of 45 US Marines to the violence-wracked nation to protect its citizens and property.
Bellow is the original text of the statement:
STATEMENT BY JEN PSAKI, SPOKESPERSON
U.S. Calls for Immediate Mediated Political Talks in South Sudan
Over the past twenty four hours, U.S. officials including Secretary Kerry have made calls to leaders throughout Africa and the world seeking a solution to the crisis in South Sudan. This morning, Secretary Kerry urged both South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar to accept a cessation of hostilities and begin mediated political talks. U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth is in Juba today to attempt to secure final commitment from both President Kiir and Former Vice President Machar to begin talks, and is working with leaders from the Inter-Governmental Authority for Government (IGAD) nations to arrange for the negotiations to begin in the coming days.
The United States urges all parties in the crisis in South Sudan to implement an immediate cessation of hostilities. This will offer critical humanitarian access to populations in dire need and open a space for a mediated political dialogue between the opposing sides.
The ability of the parties to implement the ceasefire will send a strong signal to the citizens of South Sudan and the world that as leaders they have the courage to accept compromise and work for the best interests of all of the people of this young nation. We hope and pray today that the leaders of South Sudan will acknowledge the international community’s commitment and understand that those who seek to take or hold power by violence or division along ethnic lines will not have our support and may be in violation of international law. Violence today will not pave the way for a more stable or prosperous tomorrow.
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