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U.S. senators call to appoint special envoy to South Sudan

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Six thousand internally displaced people at Kuda 54 kilometers west of Juba town are appealing for urgent humanitarian assistance. Sept 23, 2016 (UNMISS Photo)
November 15, 2019 (WASHINGTON) - A bipartisan group of senators have called on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to urgently appointed a special envoy to South Sudan to follow closely the stalled implementation of the peace agreement.

The call was made by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Coons (D-DE), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ed Markey (D-MA), and John Boozman (R-AR), in a letter sent to Pompeo on 13 November.

"The Senators highlighted the pressing need to appoint a high-level Special Envoy for South Sudan on the heels of a 100-day extension of the November 12 deadline to form a transitional government," said the letter, seen by Sudan Tribune.

"With no indication that the country’s warring parties are close to agreement on pivotal areas of dispute. With the deadline looming, there is growing concern about a return to large-scale violence," the senators further said.

Tibor Nagy, Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs, said the failure of President Kiir and his rival and peace partner Riek Machar to form a transitional government on 12 November.

Speaking in a press conference with Samil Chergui head of African Union Peace and Security Council on Friday, Nagy said the two leaders have no consideration for the South Sudanese who are feed by the international community.

"They – the cost to the international community is enormous, absolutely enormous. At some point, the international community has to say enough is enough. We have a lot of tools available to us, and we will not hesitate to use them," he further said.

The senators said the cost of the US humanitarian assistance to South Sudan has reached over $4.5 billion since the war began in December 2015.

"A Special Envoy is needed to engage the region and help coordinate Western donors in pressing both parties to forge a viable path forward leading up to the November deadline and beyond," the letter further said.

The signatories pointed to the fragile regional stability saying the resumption of violence would destabilise Ethiopia and Sudan before to add that the envoy should be charged with implementing a robust diplomatic strategy" to prevent renewed violence, encourage a sustainable political settlement, and facilitate the accountability of human rights abuses and corruption in South Sudan.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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