Barely a week after citizens here in the United States marked the anniversary of our independence 236 years ago, the world’s newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan, joined the celebration by marking its first anniversary as a free nation. Though many issues remain unresolved in the split from Sudan last summer, the public mood in the capital Juba and other areas was festive on Independence Day, July 9, as the South Sudanese basked in the pride and promise of their political freedom.
The United States congratulates South Sudanese leaders for their hard work building governing structures and a foundational legal framework. We commend you for your commitment to begin fulfilling your promise to the people of South Sudan to provide security, accountability and systematic respect for human rights.
Equal challenges lie ahead. Years of conflict have resulted in a lack of many basics for the Sudanese people, including schools, health facilities, roads and jobs. The people of South Sudan have repeatedly proven their ability to overcome great odds, however. May this new beginning for the people of South Sudan continue to be used as an opportunity to build a nation that embodies the hopes, values and diversity of its citizens.
The United States remains committed to helping South Sudan 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 years, and we will build on this partnership in the years to come.