August 18, 2014 (JUBA) – Susan Page, the first US ambassador to South Sudan, is reportedly leaving the country this week, embassy sources told Sudan Tribune.
Page will be replaced by Charles Twining.
Page was appointed to the post in 2011, immediately after the country declared its independence from Sudan following a 2005 peace deal that paved the way for a referendum on self determination.
The US played a crucial role in mediation efforts between the Sudanese government and then Southern Sudan rebels from the now governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), ending more than two decades of brutal civil war.
The US embassy in Juba sent out invitations on Friday for a farewell party planned for Ambassador Page.
“Sadly it has come time to say farewell to Ambassador Susan Page. We take this opportunity to also welcome charge Ambassador Charles Twining,” said an invitation letter seen by Sudan Tribune.
The farewell party is due to take place this Thursday, the US embassy said, without providing further details.
South Sudan has been mired in conflict since fighting broke out between forces loyal to president Salva Kiir and rebel troops aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar.
The US is exerting pressure on both sides to reach a negotiated solution to the crisis, however, a January ceasefire deal and ongoing peace talks in Ethiopia have so far failed to quell the violence.