(FILE) South Sudan's President Salva Kiir arrives at Juba's Presidential Palace, South Sudan


U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield expressed regret “that so little has changed” in South Sudan in the past 6 months.

The United States agrees that a “lack of political will,” is the root cause of this intransigence, said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. Indeed, the same issues identified six months ago remain unresolved.

“Basic questions around who will vote, how they will vote, and which levels of government they will vote for, are all still unanswered. When the transitional government has done so little to prepare for elections, providing additional funding for these elections sends absolutely the wrong message,” she said.

“Future funding must be coupled with a renewed push on the South Sudan peace process, and improved humanitarian access,” stressed Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield.

The transitional government of South Sudan has income from its oil resources to fund government services, noted Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield:

“The South Sudanese people have a fundamental right to know how their country’s oil money is being spent – and to benefit from how their country’s oil money is being spent. And so, the transitional government must start using public revenue transparently for appropriate public purposes.”

“In addition, we remain concerned by the high level of violence, criminality, and human rights abuses in South Sudan,” stated Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield:

“We designated Gordon Koang Biel, Gatluak Nyang Hoth, and Joseph Mantiel Wajang as responsible for systematic rape and other human rights violations perpetrated against women and girls during armed attacks in Leer County of Unity State. These armed groups used sexual slavery, including rape and gang rape, of abducted women and girls as an incentive and reward for combatants. This is unimaginably cruel. And so, we call on President Kiir to fulfill his pledge to hold those who committed these unthinkable acts, accountable.”

The South Sudanese transitional government faces a number of choices: whether to achieve the commitments in the 2018 peace agreement that are necessary for it to hold free and fair elections in 12 months; whether to use its abundant public revenue to make sure the Sudanese people have enough food. And whether to hold perpetrators of human rights violations accountable.

The United States once again calls on the government of South Sudan to make the right choices. Twelve years after achieving its independence, it is way past time for the transitional government to chart a new path.

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