S. Sudan’s Kiir lauds bi-lateral ties with US
August 6, 2014 (2014) – South Sudan president, Salva Kiir has praised the strong bi-lateral relations with the United States, acknowledging the latter’s involvement in his country’s issues.
- President Salva Kiir, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House August 5, 2014 (photo:White House)
Kiir, one of the African leaders at the US-Africa summit, also downplayed the intensity of the country’s ongoing conflict, saying the situation was not as bad as portrayed in the media.
“The situation in South Sudan today, of course, on the ground it is not as been reported in the media. And if the two sides, that is the government and the rebels, were forthcoming, all of them, this thing could have been resolved a long time back,” he told at media briefing in Washington on Tuesday.
The US, under former president George W. Bush, played a key role in brokering the 2005 peace accord that ended the north-south Sudan civil war. The agreement paved way for the 2011 self-determination referendum, in which South Sudanese overwhelmingly chose separation.
Since independence in three years ago, the US has been supporting peace efforts in the young nation and was instrumental in the ongoing peace negotiations being mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Ethiopia between Kiir’s government and rebels led by his former deputy, Riek Machar.
America is currently the leading international donor to South Sudan, providing significant humanitarian assistance to over a million South Sudanese citizens displaced by conflict since December 2013. Over the past two years, however, the US government has reportedly provided nearly $320 million in humanitarian funding to the world’s youngest nation.
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