US Ambassador tells South Sudan to Stop violence and return to development
By Alfred Taban
The United States Ambassador to South Sudan has called on the South Sudanese leaders to stop violence and return to the path of development. Ambassador Mary Catherine Molly Phee told Journalists in Juba yesterday that since the collapse of the ceasefire in July,the United States has worked very hard to engage in dialogue to stop the fighting.
“There is no military solution to the conflict and I say this to both the government and the rebels, stop the violence and return to the path of development,” Phee said.
She called on the South Sudanese people to recognize the legitimate rights of others.
“We have recognized and appreciated the diversity of the South Sudanese people. You have huge human and natural resources… which you cannot benefit from if you do not stop the violence,” Phee said.
The Ambassador said that she has just returned from Yei where she was saddened by what she saw. Almost 2,000 homes were destroyed by government and rebel forces and the people of Yei cannot feed themselves as they cannot help themselves. “These are people who could feed South Sudan and export but now they cannot feed themselves and are dependent on relief aid. This has to stop,” she lamented.
She said the United States is seeking targeted sanctions against people like Dr. Riek Machar and others who are mobilizing for war and are not committed to ending the violence. “Large numbers of security forces are being mobilized in Central Equatoria for a dry season offensive,” Ambassador Phee said. She called for an end to such plans and a change in direction towards a peaceful resolution of the dispute.
She praised the government’s decision to welcome the deployment of the Regional Protection Force (RPF) but added that the government does not often follow up on its decisions.