Home | News    Friday 29 April 2016

Washington vows to support transitional government in South Sudan


April 28, 2016 (WASHINGTON) – The U.S. administration has vowed to support the newly formed Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) in South Sudan in the country’s “reform agenda” but said those who committed gross crimes during the war will be brought to justice.

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U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth, speaks at the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa, on April 28, 2016 (ST Photo)

The Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, in a statement before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations on “South Sudan ’s Prospects for Peace and Security ,” he recommended to the American administration a number of measures to be taken in supporting the “full” implementation of the peace agreement in South Sudan.

While the U.S. needs to support the implementation of all the sectors of reform in the country, he said, there is equally need to establish the agreed hybrid court to try some of the senior political and military officials who are mentioned by the African Union (AU) report to have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“We fully support the peace agreement’s provision for the Hybrid Court for South Sudan, to be established by the African Union, as well as the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation, and Healing,” Booth said in the statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

“We are pleased to see that the African Union has begun initial preparations to create the court, and we are prepared to support it in becoming the credible and impartial mechanism South Sudan needs to address the worst crimes of the conflict,” he further stressed.

He said South Sudanese people have made it clear that they consider both justice and reconciliation to be vital aspects of the transitional agenda.

Ethnic grievance, he added, fueled the recently concluded 21 months of civil war and to prevent another war, the crimes of the conflict must be addressed in a way that is consistent with South Sudanese values as well as international norms.


The U.S. top envoy for the new country applauded the formation of the transitional unity government was an important step, adding it will open the door for the realization of the provisions in the peace agreement.

He commended the U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan, Phee, for what he said was her personal diplomacy, together with her team, to ensure that Machar returned to Juba and the transitional government formed.

“They worked tirelessly to overcome last- minute hurdles involving flight clearances and weapons inspections, when intransigence from both the government and the opposition repeatedly threatened to delay Machar’s return,” he said.

“It would be difficult to overstate the level of commitment Ambassador Phee has shown in her nine months in Juba to making the peace agreement work.”

Booth however warned that although formation of the unity government was a giant step, he said “the most difficult work still lies ahead.”

“We will need to work with the Transitional Government to address the economic crisis now facing South Sudan in a way that pulls the country back from the brink of ruin and builds the foundation for a more stable economy going forward,” he told the U.S. administration.

He said the formation of an inclusive Transitional Government is necessary but not sufficient to this effort, adding the parties will have to demonstrate that they can and will work together to implement the peace agreement in order to gain further support from the United States, other partners, and the international financial institutions.

“The Transitional Government, comprised of former enemies, must work together, make tough decisions, break old habits, and accept a new and intrusive degree of international financial oversight, to convince the world of its seriousness,” he said.

“The United States has always been a friend to South Sudan. We are ready to help its new government do right by its people. But we need to see that this government will not repeat past mistakes.”


The U.S. top envoy further reiterated that his government was ready to work with “South Sudanese leaders who are willing to implement the agreement’s core reform agenda.”

“When I speak of the agreement’s reform agenda, I am referring to its provisions across four areas: governance and constitutional reform; macro-economic reform and transparency of public finances; security sector reform; and justice and reconciliation,” he said.

Implementing these provisions, he pointed out, is imperative to ensure that South Sudan does not repeat the mistakes of the past.

He also said the current economic crisis must be addressed to give the transitional government a chance of success, adding that South Sudan has been the victim of the corruption of its leaders and their mismanagement of its economy and natural resources.

The peace agreement spells out many of the economic reforms that are needed, notably the establishment of an effective government payroll system and transparency in revenue collection and expenditures, as well as improved budget discipline.

“The agreement provides for the strengthening of the National Audit Chamber and the creation of a National Revenue Authority. These would be positive steps, but they would not go far enough. South Sudan needs to undertake rigorous macro-economic reforms,” the statement added.

He said any financial commitments by the U.S. government and its international partners in support of the transitional government will be conditioned on its acceptance of international oversight of its revenues and expenditures.

“In addition, I believe we need to address the problem of official corruption head-on. As long as public office is viewed as a path to wealth through the misuse of public funds, South Sudan will never have the leadership it deserves,” he lamented.

He also said the United States government will lead a campaign of recovering stolen and hidden money by the leaders of South Sudan and impose sanctions on such officials.

“To that end, my office and other departments are exploring avenues to identify and take measures against those responsible for gross and wanton corruption and theft. This would include measures the Department of State itself can take to discourage corruption, potentially to include visa bans on officials found to have stolen public funds,” he said.

On the security sector, Booth also said there was pressing need to transform the army of South Sudan.

“As daunting and critical a challenge as economic reform is, security sector reform (SSR) poses an equally great test for the Transitional Government and its regional and international partners,” he pointed out.

“For more than a generation, South Sudanese society has been dominated by armed groups – by the mythos of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, by the perception that conflict brings rewards, and by the status of the SPLA as South Sudan’s single largest employer.”

In the wake of a devastating conflict, he added, it is imperative that thousands of men under arms be able to transition from the armies of both sides into peaceful and productive citizens.

“While the peace agreement provides for a 180-day Strategic Defence and Security Review, a lack of resources and the inevitability of political disagreements among the parties make it likely that this deadline will slip, as others have. I expect we will see frustrating delays and political posturing, as we have with the process of cantoning forces in advance of the Transitional Government’s formation,” he warned.


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 29 April 2016 14:19, by Kenyang

    Those who want justice for innocent South Sudanese must start it with Riek Machar 1st and Salva Kiir 2nd. Or these idiots will waste time ....and money.

    Help South Sudan recover stolen money and shame thieves (who’re basically still in government or coming back with Riek) is the best Washington can do.

    repondre message

    • 29 April 2016 16:35, by Son of Upper Nile

      I love the way Washington make it tough for those who always doesn’t like to work & depend on themselves but blindly support their tribal political leaders in order to loot public resources. I know my community won’t suffer because they value self reliance & dependency

      repondre message

      • 29 April 2016 17:15, by Hardlinner

        son of upper nile look at people from across upper nile states before you talk. USA is corrupt like Kiir, Riek and their associates. South Sudan need leaders that care about the welfare of all south sudanese. i can never be happy when only my tribe are benefiting from my government and the rest suffer. outsiders would always generalize every country man and woman irrespective of their tribes.

        repondre message

  • 29 April 2016 18:07, by lino

    Justice, equality, and reconciliation must be done this time in history so our leaders will stop these irresponsible behaviors.
    Leadership is a responsibility; you give more than you take from people!!!

    repondre message

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