U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Ambassador Susan E. Rice today announced that Security Council unanimously recommended that South Sudan be admitted as the United Nation’s 193rd member state.
At a Security Council debate on South Sudan and Sudan, Ambassador Rice said she had the honor of heading the U.S. delegation to Juba to celebrate South Sudan’s independence last Saturday.
“It was a deeply moving day. After a half-century of war, at a cost of more than two million lives, the Republic of South Sudan can now finally determine its own future.” -Ambassador Rice
Ambassador Rice said the United States salutes the courage and sacrifice of the people of South Sudan, who never abandoned hope. She added that after so many years of bitter conflict, South Sudan’s independence occurred peacefully and democratically through referendum-a heartening way for the world’s newest nation to be born.
“Ambassador Osman, we also commend the Government of Sudan’s decision to be the first country to recognize South Sudan’s independence.” -Ambassador Rice
She stressed that United States welcomes all efforts to forge a relationship between Sudan and South Sudan that is rooted in mutual respect and cooperation-a relationship that strengthens the viability, security, and prosperity of both states. She higlighted that by continuing on the path of peace, the Government of Sudan can redefine its relationship with the international community and secure a brighter future for its people.
She emphasized that the Security Council remains fully engaged in helping both countries towards their shared goals of peace and stability.
“On July 8, this Council unanimously authorized a new UN peacekeeping mission in the Republic of South Sudan. UNMISS will assist the government as it builds a new nation, including on issues of peacebuilding, development, security, and protection.” -Ambassador Rice
However, Ambassador Rice pointed out that the moment of promise is also fragile and fraught. She stressed that Sudan and South Sudan must work hard to secure an enduring peace and two viable states coexisting as peaceful neighbors. She pointed out it is vital that both countries work with the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel to swiftly resolve all outstanding issues.
“The parties need to finalize arrangements on the border, citizenship, oil, and other issues if they are to forge an enduring peace.” -Ambassador Rice
She underscored that a permanent resolution of Abyei’s status remains elusive. She pointed out that despite an agreement on temporary security arrangements and the imminent deployment of a UN interim security force, the situation in Abyei is still extremely volatile. She stated that an estimated 100,000 people remain displaced from their homes.
“Brutal fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the troops of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army-North has displaced more than 70,000 people in Southern Kordofan. The Sudanese army is continuing and intensifying aerial bombardments that are killing civilians.” -Ambassador Rice
Ambassador Rice emphasized that both parties need to agree immediately to a cessation of hostilities. She noted that the violence, the human rights abuses, and the deliberate obstruction of access for humanitarian agencies must end.