On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of the Republic of South Sudan as you celebrate your first anniversary of independence this July 9.
South Sudan has been hard at work over the past year building governing structures and a foundational legal framework. Your work to provide security, accountability and systemic respect for human rights is admirable.
Despite the progress, significant challenges remain that threaten stability and prosperity. Conflict and unresolved issues with Sudan and domestic inter-ethnic tensions have led to increased fighting and economic hardship, which threatens to compromise the very foundation on which South Sudan’s future will be built.
There are many challenges, but the South Sudanese people have repeatedly demonstrated their capacity to overcome great odds. We are hopeful that this new beginning for the people of South Sudan will continue to be used as an opportunity to build a nation that embodies the values and aspirations of its people, and that South Sudan can emerge from the shadows of conflict and turmoil. The United States remains committed to helping South Sudan meet the challenges it faces and build a free, democratic and inclusive society—one that is at peace both internally and with its neighbors.
The strong ties between the people of our two nations go back many decades, and we are committed to building upon this partnership in the years to come. Congratulations and best wishes on this historic day.