Highlighting that independence of South Sudan twenty-one months ago was a historic and momentous occasion, the United States of America today said it is optimistic about South Sudan’s future as it realizes the hopes and aspirations of its people.
In his opening remarks at the South Sudan Economic Partners Forum in Washington DC, Deputy Secretary William Burns says just as the people of South Sudan found their way out of war to independence, they can surely navigate the perilous path from fragility to stability, and from poverty to prosperity.
The United States is encouraged by recent progress in implementing the September 27, 2012 agreements between South Sudan and Sudan, including the resumption of oil production and the expected reopening of the border for trade.
“These steps will provide a vital boost to the communities on both sides of the border and the governments of both countries
Good Morning.” – Mr. Burns
South Sudan says goodbye to dark and trying times
South Sudan has surpassed the four decades of civil war, religious and racial persecution, untold destruction and loss of life.
Its destination is clear – enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan as “a united, peaceful and prosperous society based on justice, equality, respect for human rights and the rule of law.”
However, the question is how to get there.
But as Mr. Burns points out no single path guarantees success and there are no shortcuts around the enormous obstacles standing in its way particularly the endemic deficits in health, education, agriculture, infrastructure, and governance – and of course, continued tensions with the Government of Sudan.
The US welcomes the Government of South Sudan’s proposal to use the New Deal for Engagement with Fragile States as the foundation of a reinvigorated partnership.
Mr. Burns says the New Deal builds on decades of lessons learned about how best to address what matters most to those affected by conflict and fragility around the world.
“It provides clear goals to strengthen state-society relations. It puts South Sudan in the lead in its own development.” – Mr. Burns
In addition, it outlines a set of benchmarks and mutual commitments for a more robust economic and political reforms by South Sudan, and more transparent, timely, and targeted international assistance that not only works through host country systems but strengthens them.
“The concept of mutual responsibility is vitally important.” – Mr. Burns
US remains an unwavering partner to South Sudan
According to Mr. Burns, just as friends of South Sudan have been there to provide relief and humanitarian aid in times of conflict, and diplomatic support during peace negotiations and the transition to independence, the US will remain unwavering partners to South Sudan as it works to reap the dividends of peace.
US recognizes that South Sudan is going through tough fiscal and budgetary environments. Last week, US has released a budget last week that made painful cuts across the board, including in the foreign assistance budget.
However, the US notes it has come too far, invested too much, and worked too hard to walk away from the people of South Sudan at this crucial moment.
Still a long journey for South Sudan, but there are hopeful signs.
US recognizes that there are hopeful signs, but the young state will face significant adversity in the next phase of its development.
And this is why an updated framework of cooperation between South Sudan and its international partners is indispensable.
Althought it is the just the beginning of a long journey to realize the hopes and aspirations of the people of South Sudan, the United States is confident that if each deliver on their respective parts of this bargain, the world will see this young nation join the ranks of Africa’s rising democratic powers.
“And that will give great hope to all those who still yearn for the opportunity to write their own future.” – Mr. Burns
Sudan and South Sudan struck a deal to share their oil wealth
Earlier in August 2012, Sudan and South Sudan have finally struck a deal on how to share their oil wealth.
Reports say the parties have agreed on all of the financial arrangements regarding oil.
The two countries were given August 2 deadline by the United Nations to solve disputes from border security to oil payments.
The oil impasse between two countrieshas lasted more than six months.
Earlier in June 2012, Sudan and South Sudan have made significant progress to end hostilities.
The forces of South Sudan have completely pulled out of Abyei, that the forces of Khartoum, the SAF forces are also now out of Abyei.
In addition, South Sudan has recently completed withdrawal processes of its police forces from the disputed Abyei to comply with the United Nations Security Council resolution endorsing roadmap of the Africa Union Peace and Security Commission.
South Sudan reportedly complied with all aspects of resolution 2046, which calls on both sides to resume negotiations on post-partition issues and signed pact with three months.
The United States of America also welcomed the redeployment of all Republic of South Sudan Police Services out of the Abyei Area.
The US said the withdrawal of police forces in Abyei is an important step toward ending the border dispute with Sudan.
The United States has commended the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei for its strong support to this process.
The United States renewed call upon the Government of Sudan to honor its acceptance of UNSCR 2046 and the AUPSC communique, including by redeploying all of its armed forces from Abyei and by immediately ending aerial bombardments in South Sudan, which are a clear violation of Resolution 2046.
Amid the continous call from the United Nations and the United States to cease the hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan, violence and tensions continue to escalate in the region earlier this year.
South Sudan’s military was involved in the attack on and seizure of Heglig, home to Sudan’s largest remaining source of oil following the South’s secession.
Late of March 2012, military clashes have erupted in the border region of Sudan and South Sudan.
In July 2011, South Sudan, Africa’s 54th nation was born. Millions of people celebrated a new national identity and new national promise. For more than two decades, Sudan has been riven by intense fighting over land and resources.
However, the security situation in the disputed area of Abyei remains fragile, with both South Sudan and Sudan failing to withdraw their armed forces as agreed under a demilitarization pact reached in June 2011.
South Sudan became independent from Sudan on 9 July. A referendum on the status of the Abyei area on the border was to have been held in January this year, but never took place amid disagreement on voter eligibility.
Dozens of people have been killed in 2012 as a result of clashes in Abyei and surrounding areas and tens of thousands of have been forced to flee their homes.