I am pleased to congratulate the people of South Sudan on their very first Independence Day. I was honored to lead President Obama’s delegation last year to bear witness to your joyful celebration of independence in Juba. After a bitter half century of conflict, your emergence as a sovereign state has inspired countless Americans and reminded the world, in the words of President Obama, “that after the darkness of war, a new day is possible.”
Independence represents both great hope and a great responsibility to fulfill the promise of a brighter future. Pursuit of an open, pluralistic society of lasting peace, prosperity and justice that ensures the dignity and security of all South Sudan’s citizens should remain your calling. This is a critical period for South Sudan, which will define its future for decades to come. The people of South Sudan will continue to have a partner in the United States as you meet the challenges facing your new nation, from addressing the crucial unresolved issues with Sudan to combating corruption and confronting ethnic tensions and economic hardship.
As we congratulate South Sudan on the promise of independence, we also applaud the work of the UN Mission in South Sudan and pledge the continued support of the United States for its vital efforts.