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South Sudan Leaders Are Failing Their People


Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and South Sudan rebel chief Riek Machar. (March 3, 2015)

The peace talks aimed at ending more than a year of bitter fighting in South Sudan have broken off, again without agreement.

The peace talks aimed at ending more than a year of bitter fighting in South Sudan have broken off, again without agreement.

The most recent round of negotiations, which took place in Addis Ababa and were mediated by the regional bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development, or IGAD, are said to have foundered over disagreement on power sharing, governance and security arrangements. Although facing a deadline and possible economic sanctions, the negotiating parties failed to make the needed compromises to end a political and inter-communal conflict that has claimed at least 10,000 lives.

The United States for years has worked to promote self-determination, stability and progress for the people of South Sudan. We strongly condemn the lack of political leadership to resolve this man-made conflict that has exacted a terrible cost over the past nearly 15 months. Along with the many friends and partners of South Sudan, we continue to work closely with IGAD in its efforts to bring an end to this senseless conflict.

The humanitarian catastrophe in South Sudan continues, with more than two million people displaced and what is considered at this time to be the world’s worst food security crisis. The entire region is facing economic, security and humanitarian costs from this conflict.

There is no excuse for further fighting, and we will ensure that those who commit acts of violence -- or otherwise undermine efforts toward peace -- are held accountable.

The United Nations will soon review the situation, as called for by Resolution 2206, which the Security Council passed unanimously last week. We look forward to a decision on how the international community will proceed.

The United States and its Troika partners support vigorous efforts to end this conflict, and will work with IGAD, the African Union and other international partners to urgently seek a way forward. We must speak with one voice, making clear our collective resolve to assist the South Sudanese people in ending this senseless tragedy.

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