U.S calls for peace
The U.S. Embassy in South Sudan celebrated on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, the 241st Independence anniversary of the United States of America.
The occasion was graced by Hussein Mar Nyot, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), representing the country’s national government.
Diplomats from other nations who are accredited to the Republic of South Sudan, heads of the different United Nations agencies and humanitarian agencies, civil society activists, Alumni of U.S. Department of States International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) amongst other guests also attended the occasion, which took place at the U.S. Residence Compound in Kololo.
In her keynote address on the occasion of the 241st Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America, U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan, Molly Catherine Phee, said, “we Americans celebrate our independence on the 4th July every year, we honor July 4, 1776, because that is the day the declaration of independence was signed”.
“The declaration of independence introduced two new concepts to the field of governance. The first new concept was to reject the idea of being governed by a king, who rules without regard for the opinions and concerns of the people. The second related concept was to empower the people to replace the king with the ‘government of the people’, which calls for leaders to be chosen from the population”, she added.
Commenting on the situation in South Sudan, Ambassador Phee highlighted the role of people and politics because it is the central element of the American experience which she said was being honored on their independence day.
“Last year when we met at this time, I shared our concern that your leaders would be unable to take advantage of the second chance made possible by the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity.”
She added saying, “indeed, only a few day after the 4th of July, 2016, the ceasefire collapsed and since then we have seen an expansion of armed conflicts across the country, and unwillingness to return to the negotiating table.”
The U.S. diplomat said the people of South Sudan know the statistics: two millions South Sudanese have been displaced within the country and two millions fled the country and are living as refugees outside the country, and now there are six million people [South Sudanese] experiencing food insecurity.
She said although political space continues to shrink; civil society activists, women leaders, journalists and intellectuals play valuable roles in seeking the public views in questioning the statuesque and offering solution.
“And finally, it is vital to recognize and encourage those individuals currently serving in an official capacity or recently retired from an official capacity—whether on a national or state level, or in the military or security services or in the armed opposition who reject the current country’s trajectory and try tirelessly to restore peace and stability,” Ambassador Phee urged.
She said the U.S remains committed to support the dream of the people of South Sudan, the dream of independence from Sudan. She also said the U.S. remains the major donor, who contributed 2.5 billion US dollars since 2013 for lifesaving assistances to the needy population in South Sudan.
By Nichola Dominic Mandil