The government and opposition in South Sudan continue to engage in armed conflict, despite an agreement to end hostilities that have resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent South Sudanese citizens and the displacement of over 2 million more.
With both sides dug in, the compromises needed to achieve a viable peace agreement remain elusive, putting the future of the world's youngest nation at grave risk.
Many South Sudanese have long urged that those responsible for these crimes be held accountable to break the cycle of violence and revenge and seek to build a stable, lasting peace.
Early this month, the United States announced plans to provide $5 million to promote justice and accountability in South Sudan, pending Congressional approval. These funds will support a credible, impartial, and effective justice mechanism, such as a hybrid court, to hold perpetrators of violence in South Sudan to account. Furthermore, the funding will build the capacity of South Sudanese civil society to document human rights violations, work that is critical to understanding events on the ground and that can serve as a starting point for justice and reconciliation efforts.
The funds are in addition to ongoing U.S. support for local reconciliation efforts and the more than $1 billion that the United States has contributed to assist humanitarian relief since the start of the crisis in December 2013.
The United States continues to stand with the people of South Sudan and will not tolerate impunity for human rights abuses, but will continue to push for peace. We urge others to join us in committing funds to support justice, reconciliation and healing in South Sudan.