Five Things You Need To Know About South Sudan

 
1.     South Sudan celebrated its third year of independence on July 9, 2014.

The Republic of South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in July 2011 following a 2005 peace agreement that ended Africa’s longest-running civil war.  South Sudan, the world’s 195th country and the 193rd member state of the United Nations, is also Africa’s first newly independent country since Eritrea split from Ethiopia in 1993.

2.     As a former part of Sudan, South Sudan has experienced the adverse effects of conflict since 1956, with more than two decades of internal strife.

These conflicts displaced millions of South Sudanese and left the country with an underdeveloped infrastructure, a weak economy, contamination from landmines and other explosive remnants of war, and an abundance of unsecured small arms and light weapons (SA/LW).  The violence that reignited in December 2013 forced more than 1.5 million people from their homes, increasing their vulnerability to cholera outbreaks, widespread famine, landmines, and other unexploded munitions.

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Today, Iraqis took another major step forward in uniting their country.
Ambassador Susan Rice on Prime Minister Maliki’s decision to step aside and support Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi, August 14, 2014
World War II historian John Innes tells #SecKerry about the famed 1942 “Bloody Ridge” battle that took place on the land in front of them on the #SolomonIslands. #WWII

World War II historian John Innes tells #SecKerry about the famed 1942 “Bloody Ridge” battle that took place on the land in front of them on the #SolomonIslands. #WWII

Children wave flags as they wait to greet Secretary Kerry as he arrives in the Solomon Islands on August 12, 2014.  
While in the Solomon Islands, Secretary Kerry met with government officials, saluted local residents who assisted U.S. forces in World War II, and toured the famed battlefield on nearby “Bloody Ridge” during the Guadalcanal campaign.

Children wave flags as they wait to greet Secretary Kerry as he arrives in the Solomon Islands on August 12, 2014.  

While in the Solomon Islands, Secretary Kerry met with government officials, saluted local residents who assisted U.S. forces in World War II, and toured the famed battlefield on nearby “Bloody Ridge” during the Guadalcanal campaign.

Secretary of State John Kerry receives a traditional necklace upon his arrival in Solomon Islands.

Secretary of State John Kerry receives a traditional necklace upon his arrival in Solomon Islands.

Alliance With U.S. a Boon for Asia

The rise of Asia — the world’s fastest growing economic zone, with a burgeoning middle class — is changing the world.  Growing people-to-people links and technological advances are expanding the region’s influence. 

We meet today in Sydney for the 29th annual AUSMIN to sign a landmark agreement between our governments which will provide a policy and legal framework, as well as cost-sharing principles, to support the continued implementation of U.S. force posture initiatives and to discuss new opportunities for cooperation. 

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Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien — but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.
Secretary Kerry waves to groups of climbers making their way to the top of the Sydney Harbor bridge. 

Secretary Kerry waves to groups of climbers making their way to the top of the Sydney Harbor bridge. 

Secretary Kerry admiring the nearly full moon over the Schwedagon Pagoda during his visit to Burma yesterday.

Secretary Kerry admiring the nearly full moon over the Schwedagon Pagoda during his visit to Burma yesterday.

The United States cannot and should not intervene every time there’s a crisis in the world. But when there’s a situation like the one on this mountain—when countless innocent people are facing a massacre, and when we have the ability to help prevent it—the United States can’t just look away. That’s not who we are. We’re Americans. We act. We lead.
President Barack Obama on the situation in Iraq, August 9, 2014