Secretary Kerry called South Sudanese President Salva Kiir just after midnight in Washington to discuss ways to stop the violence in South Sudan.
President Kiir said he had productive discussions with the visiting Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) ministerial delegation, to whom he had expressed his willingness to engage in peaceful dialogue and said he was open to negotiations without preconditions. Secretary Kerry emphasized that only through leadership and political dialogue will the challenges facing South Sudan be resolved.
Secretary Kerry made clear that continued violence endangers the vision set forth at the time of South Sudan’s independence. The Secretary said he was sending U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Ambassador Donald Booth, to the region to support regional diplomatic efforts to advance a solution. Secretary Kerry and President Kiir discussed the need to prevent ethnic violence, their concern for the welfare of thousands of internally displaced persons fleeing the conflict, as well as for the safety of U.S. citizens in South Sudan, and they agreed to speak again soon.