VIOLENCE – New US envoy to leaders, put citizens first
US Ambassador Thomas Hushek (Photo Radio Miraya):
By Opio Jackson
The new United States Ambassador to South Sudan, Thomas Hushek has urged both the government and opposition groups to put the interest of their citizens first in order for peace to be realized in the country.
Mr. Thomas said he was honoured to come to South Sudan as United States ambassador and that he had seen throughout his career “a closed tragic human cause of war.”
However, Ambassador Thomas said that he understands the importance of finding a durable solution to the ongoing violence causing Africa’s largest humanitarian crisis.
The US senior diplomat made the statement yesterday in Juba after presenting his credentials to President Salva Kiir as US Ambassador to South Sudan with four other ambassadors from different countries.
The ambassadors of Thailand, South Korea, Tanzania and Ireland also presented their accreditations to the President.
Ambassador Hushek said the United States has long been a friend to the people of South Sudan and their commitment to supporting the aspirations for peace, security and economic prosperity is the strongest ever.
“We are the largest stone of humanitarian assistance in South Sudan and we shall continue providing life-saving assistance to millions,” he said. “Ultimately South Sudanese leadership both the government and as well as the opposition must put the interest of the people of South Sudan first and find lasting peace for the country,” ambassador Hushek stressed.
Mr. Hushek continued that he was committed to working with the leadership to bring peace in the country. “I am looking forward to getting to know South Sudan and her citizens during my time as an ambassador.”
In August 2017, US President Donald Trump nominated Thomas J. Hushek to be Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of South Sudan. He was confirmed by the Senate on April 26, 2018, and appointed by the President on April 27, 2018.
A career Foreign Service Officer, Mr. Hushek most recently headed the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (2015-March 2018).
Prior to that, Mr. Hushek served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna (2013-2015). He also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassies in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, (2006-2008) and Kolonia, Micronesia (2002-2004). He has had several assignments in or focused on Afghanistan, as the Director for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement in Kabul (2012-2013), the Senior Civilian Representative at the Herat Provincial Reconstruction Team and Regional Command West (2004-05), and as Afghan Refugee Coordinator in Islamabad and Kabul (1999-2002). Mr. Hushek’s early diplomatic postings included Khartoum and Moscow.
At the Department of State in Washington, Mr. Hushek has served as Director for Europe, Central Asia, and the Americas in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (2010-2012) and Director for Central Asia in the Bureau for South and Central Asian Affairs (2008-2010). He also served as Afghanistan/Pakistan desk officer (1997-1999). Other Washington assignments include the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour.
Mr. Hushek has degrees from the University of Wisconsin and Columbia University. He is a native of Wisconsin.