A year has passed since political infighting in the government of South Sudan erupted into bloody violence. Fighting in the capital, Juba, between soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar quickly spread, engulfing much of the country.
Despite intensive efforts to promote a negotiated settlement, the conflict continues amid fears that violence and abuse will intensify now with the end of the rainy season, which hampered fighting in recent weeks.
The United States has been heavily engaged in working with its regional and international partners to end the conflict and put the country on a path to peace and stability. U.S. diplomats at many levels have been engaged in supporting the mediation process and providing humanitarian aid to the millions of South Sudanese suffering in the conflict. Marking the one-year anniversary of civil war, President Barack Obama again lent his voice to those of countless others urging reconciliation by the warring factions there.
“The magnitude of this crisis is felt in both the devastation that violence has left in towns and villages, and the scars—visible and invisible—on the South Sudanese people,” the president said. “Today, I appeal to the leaders of South Sudan to pursue peace as a way to honor those who have died. It is in your hands to end the cycle of violence, to set forth on a course of reform and reconciliation, and to hold to account those responsible for atrocities. Leadership that recalls the promise of South Sudan is what the country now needs to end this senseless conflict.”
The United States will remain a friend to those who seek peace and progress, and will stand with the people of South Sudan.