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U.S. hints recalling its Ambassador from South Sudan over atrocities


September 21, 2016 (JUBA) – United States has hinted the possibility of recalling its current Ambassador to South Sudan over the ongoing “documented” atrocities committed by the leadership of South Sudan under her watch.

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Ambassador Phee presenting her credentials to President Salva Kiir on 23 July 2015 (Photo US Embassy Juba)

In a special hearing on South Sudan crisis by the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations conducted on Tuesday in Washington DC, chaired by Senator Bob Corker, the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, the senators registered their disappointment over the “impunity” conduct of the current U.S. Ambassador, Mary Catherine Phee.

They said the atrocities committed have been documented but with impunity involving other parties, including the ambassador.

“Yeah, the suggestion, I think recalling our Ambassador for that kind of conduct would be an appropriate response to show that we don’t want to have a mission headed by an Ambassador with impunity,” said Ben Cardin, a ranking member of the Committee, in reaction to earlier suggestion to recall the Ambassador.

Bob Corker, the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate, in his earlier remarks, also suggested whether or not the South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, should be declared a “war criminal” over the atrocities.

Meanwhile, Senator Cardin, said he had lost confidence in the peace process in South Sudan.

“I have lost confidence in the peace process…I don’t believe the current leaders are capable of bringing their country into peace,” he said, referring to President Kiir and his new first deputy, Taban Deng.

He also described the newly appointed First Vice President, Taban Deng, as someone who has no constituency in South Sudan is not able to heal the nation.

“We haven’t talked about Mr. [Taban] Deng, who I understand has no constituency. He is part of the corrupt, the corruption that has been documented. He is unpopular,” said the senior senator.

The Senators accused the South Sudanese rival leaders, Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, of committing atrocities and failing their people.

The top U.S. senator also accused president Kiir’s government of war crimes and attack on his rival, Machar, in July which resulted to the recent violence in the capital, Juba.

“As this crisis erupted in July, President Kiir’s forces apparently fired on U.S. diplomatic vehicles, shot and injured a U.N. official, terrorized American and other aid workers, and executed a South Sudanese journalist,” he said.

“President Kiir consolidated control after yet another contrived military action against his former deputy, Riek Machar. Kiir’s recent replacement of Machar with a poorly-supported opposition alternative likely invalidates the unity government and the August 2015 peace agreement itself,” charged the top U.S. Senator.

The Senators also blamed the United Nations peace keepers in the country for not doing enough to protect civilians from the government’s forces.

“Again, I don’t know how many times we’re going to hear of our peacekeeping efforts falling short. I know this is a unique circumstance but I believe the U.N. has been totally feckless as it relates to addressing this issue. Again, I know that these people are overstretched right now in South Sudan, but it continues to be a problem with U.N. peacekeeping troops,” he said.

Witnesses who presented their respective testimonies during the hearing include Jok Madut Jok, Co-founder and Executive Director, The Sudd Institute; The Honourable Kate Almquist Knopf, Director, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, U.S. Department of Defense; Luka Biong Deng, Global Fellow, Peace Research Institute; and Peter Yeo, President, Better World Campaign, United Nations Foundation.

The Senators warned that a Plan B would be needed to change the situation, including sanctions against leaders, imposed arms embargo as well as putting South Sudan under a trusteeship of the African Union and the United Nations.


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  • 21 September 23:34, by choldit

    This is a real good verbal reaction from US Senators. Will their wish be turned into reality or translated into action by the us govt? I hope so. President Kiir, Malong, JCE and their new slave boy Taban Deng need to be sent to icc court for the artocities they are committing.

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    • 21 September 23:51, by Panda Odhie

      Nobody is an angel in South Sudan anymore ,they all smear the oilly fat on their gum. If ICC is active it will took 45 plus being reported to have steal 22 billion , so Kiir is no longer asigle target my friend.

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    • 22 September 09:33, by Midit Mitot

      American people are the worse than ever, some time they have come-up with good suggestion that can end-up there without solution, these people are really business mine adultery. If this shall be implemented, so, South Sudan will be at least fine.

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      • 22 September 22:45, by lino

        American Taxpayers gave away $11 billion dollar in aid and other activities from 2005-2013. That is why they are involved; I hope you are not confused folks.
        The citizens here always push and punish their MP’s if their money are messed up with or misused; what are your roles southerners to your Government and MP’s.

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  • 22 September 05:27, by Whortti Bor Manza

    Hon. Phee is an arrogant woman whose diplomatic credentials have been tarnished by Ambrose Ring. I wonder how on this planet could the US have appointed this woman as a diplomat in the first place.

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    • 22 September 09:16, by Eastern

      Who is Ambros Riing? Is he not the man at the helm of the tribal JCE mentioned by Kate in his submission to the senate subcommittee on foreign relations. Is Ambros strong enough to run for his live and asset? Please continue exposing your useless old men of the JCE!!!

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    • 22 September 18:46, by jubaone

      Ambassador Phee is known to have "very close" ties with the JCE chairperson Mr. Ambrose Riny Thiik to the point he rented his 2-storeyed house in Juba na bari (jienge call it Thong piny) to US Special Forces deployed to protect the US Embassy. This is known fact in Juba. He together with other JCE members have visited the US Embassy several times to met the US Amb. as shown by visitors log book.

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  • 22 September 07:56, by Akuma

    That project of US & UN regime change in South Sudan will not succeed in all event. South Sudanese people will not allow what UN & US and its allies to the world. UN & US should be a shame on what they did in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Syria.

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    • 22 September 09:01, by Akook

      May be you mean Kiir and his group of looters will object UN trusteeship. Not South Sudanese whom they are killing on daily Basis

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      • 22 September 09:33, by Mr Point

        Let’s be clear: the UN & US ( through WFP, USAID, UNMISS etc) provide food, transport, security to the civilians of South Sudan which the elected government is too corrupt and too inefficient to do.
        The government was responsible for the Dura fraud.
        5 Million S Sudanese face hunger so the SPLA loot WFP warehouses.

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  • 22 September 09:11, by Eastern

    Kate Almquist Knopf made a brutally honest account and recommendation on the way forward on tackling the tribal kleptocrats in Juba. There’s no need for America to have an ambassador in Juba the same way the Juba kleptocrats don’t have any moral to have an embassy in Washington. Dr Jok Madu Jok was blinded by his collective responsibility not go lift a finger against Dinkocracy; his account is....

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  • 22 September 09:12, by Eastern

    .....midiocre to say the least. Kiir must be made to feel that cost of his intrasegency; he shouldn’t be allowed to go Scot free!

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  • 22 September 15:36, by Hardlinner

    these short sighted idiots are indeed after their interest. that is south Sudan resources. if they are concern about justice system, why don’t first scrutinised their police forces. they are killing innocence black people in thousands a year. bob should first condemn american police before condemning other countries.

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    • 22 September 19:04, by jubaone


      Are you suggesting because innocent African Americans get killed daily and so jienge should as well go ahead and kill the other Junubin? No Buddy. If the jienges think they want to act like some Jim Crow, then that is foolish. The rest Junubin will not sit down and sing "Amazing Grace...."they are fighting.

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  • 22 September 19:25, by Kuac Akechak Jok Aleu

    How come US senators accept the witness of Dr.Luka meanwhile he is the one who had been a close advisor of President Sales Kir for the first five years until he was caught red handed involve in corruption during his time in presidency with Salvation Kir.Come to Dr.Jok Madut witness is baseless because he is criticising himself because all these blames that blames all Dinka came from his own area G

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  • 23 September 00:27, by Black Africa

    The most stupid and dumbest President in the world is Sultan Kiir Al-homar.

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