Over the past twenty four hours, U.S. officials including Secretary Kerry have made calls to leaders throughout Africa and the world seeking a solution to the crisis in South Sudan. This morning, Secretary Kerry urged both South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar to accept a cessation of hostilities and begin mediated political talks. U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth is in Juba today to attempt to secure final commitment from both President Kiir and Former Vice President Machar to begin talks, and is working with leaders from the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) nations to arrange for the negotiations to begin in the coming days.
The United States urges all parties in the crisis in South Sudan to implement an immediate cessation of hostilities. This will offer critical humanitarian access to populations in dire need and open a space for a mediated political dialogue between the opposing sides.
The ability of the parties to implement the ceasefire will send a strong signal to the citizens of South Sudan and the world that as leaders they have the courage to accept compromise and work for the best interests of all of the people of this young nation. We hope and pray today that the leaders of South Sudan will acknowledge the international community’s commitment and understand that those who seek to take or hold power by violence or division along ethnic lines will not have our support and may be in violation of international law. Violence today will not pave the way for a more stable or prosperous tomorrow.