Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
April 24, 2016
The United States is disappointed by the continued failure of the Government of South Sudan and by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement -SPLM/A-IO (IO) to form the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) and implement the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.
Yesterday, the government denied landing permission to flights for the return of opposition leader Riek Machar. This interference resulted in the failure to meet the deadline in the compromise proposal put forward by the regional and international partners of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission that was agreed to by both sides. We have previously condemned obstruction by the IO, including the arbitrary demand by Riek Machar that more forces and heavy weapons than was previously agreed precede his arrival to Juba.
Despite the best efforts by South Sudan’s neighbors, the Troika, United Nations Mission in South Sudan, China, the African Union, the European Union and, most importantly, by South Sudanese advocating for peace, leaders on both sides have blocked progress.
The United States will continue to work with those who are sincerely committed to implementing the Agreement, particularly its provisions for reform of the security sector and public finances and for reconciliation and accountability.
The scope of future U.S. engagement in helping South Sudan confront the country’s security, economic and development challenges, however, will depend on the parties demonstrating commitment to work together to implement the Agreement. We have been working intensively with our partners, especially Ethiopia, to facilitate Riek Machar’s return. Given the actions by both sides to prevent or delay his return, it is now time for the parties to assume primary responsibility for facilitating the return of Riek Machar to Juba to form the TGNU and to demonstrate that they are genuinely committed to peace.