July 9, 2012 (JUBA) - The United States government has congratulated South Sudan on the occasion marking its first anniversary since it attained independence from Sudan, saying that despite challenges, the new nation had worked hard over the past year to build governing structures and a legal framework.
- US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Reuters)
US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in a statement issued on 9 July said that the US is committed to building an even “stronger” partnership with South Sudan in the new year, given the solid ties between the people of these two nations, which dates back decades.
"South Sudan has been hard at work over the past year building governing structures and a foundational legal framework," said Clinton.
"Your commitment to fulfilling the promise to the people of South Sudan to provide security, accountability and systemic respect for human rights is admirable," she added.
The US Secretary of State, however, expressed concerns that, despite its notable progress, South Sudan still face "significant" challenges, which threatens stability and prosperity.
Clinton, in the statement, particularly cites South Sudan’s conflict and unresolved issues with neighboring Sudan as well as domestic inter-ethnic tensions that have led to increased fighting and economic hardship, which she says threatens to compromise the very foundations for building the new nation in future.
"There are many challenges, but the South Sudanese people have repeatedly demonstrated their capacity to overcome great odds," Clinton notes, adding that the US government is optimistic that South Sudan can still emerge from the "shadows of conflict and turmoil".
South Sudan officially attained independence on 9 July 2011 after its
people overwhelmingly chose separation in the country’s self-determination referendum. The vote was a key part of the 2005
peace deal, which ended over two decades of bloody civil war with northern Sudan.