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Statement by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice on South Sudan

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The United States condemns in the strongest terms the return to violence in South Sudan.  It must stop.  Armed leaders, their commanders, and forces must focus their resources on bringing about an immediate end to the violence.  We call on those fighting to return to their barracks. This senseless and inexcusable violence—undertaken by those who yet again are putting self-interest above the well-being of their country and people—puts at risk everything the South Sudanese people have aspired to over the past five years.

The targeting of civilians and attacks against the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, diplomatic installations, NGOs, and humanitarian actors is intolerable. Such attacks could constitute war crimes and other serious international crimes.  The United States will hold fully accountable for those committing atrocities or who impede efforts to halt the fighting.

We commend the UN for its efforts to protect civilians in Juba, and we will continue to work with our partners on the Security Council to address the situation.  We look to South Sudan’s neighbors to help end the fighting, and we are working with regional leaders at the highest levels to accomplish this, with the support of the international community.   

Five years ago this week, the South Sudanese people joyously celebrated their independence.  Instead of honoring this anniversary, the recent violence will instead inflict yet another wave of trauma on South Sudanese citizens, who have suffered far too much already. All those engaged in the fighting must stop immediately.

July 11, 2016