Looking Beyond Kiir and Machar for Solutions in South Sudan

South Sudan marked its third year of independence on July 9, but this year there seemed little for the people of South Sudan to celebrate.  I was just in South Sudan, from June 30 to July 2, and saw firsthand the destruction, dislocation and death wrought by several months of pointless conflict between forces aligned with President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar.  I remember a particularly vivid moment in the trip — at a UN displaced persons camp on the outskirts of Juba — where I sat face to face with ten camp leaders, all representatives of a burgeoning South Sudanese population seeking refuge from war, violence, hunger, and insecurity.  

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Today’s agreement to immediately stop the fighting in SouthSudan and to negotiate a transitional government could mark a breakthrough for the future of South Sudan. The hard journey on a long road begins now and the work must continue
Secretary of State John Kerry in his remarks on South Sudan, May 9, 2014.  
Reuniting Families Separated During Conflict in South Sudan
 

Violence and insecurity in South Sudan have forced more than 1 million people from their homes since mid-December.

Among those fleeing are thousands of children lost from their families — heaping tragedy upon tragedy. Some were sent to safety by parents who could not afford a journey to safety themselves. Others became separated from their parents during the recent violence that has ravaged their country and left them traumatized.

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Secretary Kerry is in South Sudan today.  Follow his travel on Twitter on @StateDept and www.state.gov and see more photos on Flickr. 

Secretary Kerry is in South Sudan today.  Follow his travel on Twitter on @StateDept and www.state.gov and see more photos on Flickr

It’s clear that everybody is in agreement the killing must stop; that humanitarian access needs to be delivered; most importantly, a legitimate force that has an ability to help make peace needs to get on the ground as rapidly as possible.
Secretary Kerry on South Sudan, May 1, 2014
These talks are of critical importance to the people of South Sudan. There can be no military solution to this conflict.
Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf on the beginning of direct talks on South Sudan
Yesterday, President Obama appointed Ambassador Donald Booth as the new U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan.  Learn more about the new ambassador on DipNote!

Yesterday, President Obama appointed Ambassador Donald Booth as the new U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan.  Learn more about the new ambassador on DipNote!

Learn what $26 million spent on USAID’s Food, Agribusiness and Rural Markets (FARM) project in South Sudan yields on DipNote!

Learn what $26 million spent on USAID’s Food, Agribusiness and Rural Markets (FARM) project in South Sudan yields on DipNote!

Addressing the Crisis in South Sudan’s Jonglei State
Relief Food Arrives in South Sudan

In response to the political crisis in South Sudan and the deeply troubling violence in Jonglei state, on July 24, the White House hosted NGOs and advocacy groups to discuss the situation and confer on how the United States — in concert with partners and allies around the world — can help end the violence and support South Sudan’s democratic development.

At the meeting, National Security Staff Senior Director for Development and Democracy Gayle Smith, Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights Steve Pomper, and I invited advocates and humanitarian workers to exchange information on the humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jonglei, and explore ways we can work together to raise awareness and address it. MORE

Congratulations to ‎South Sudan on the 2nd anniversary of their independence! You can read ‎Secretary Kerry’s statement here and watch Ambassador DiCarlo discuss South Sudan’s security and humanitarian situation here. [AP Photo/Pete Muller]

Congratulations to ‎South Sudan on the 2nd anniversary of their independence! You can read ‎Secretary Kerry’s statement here and watch Ambassador DiCarlo discuss South Sudan’s security and humanitarian situation here. [AP Photo/Pete Muller]