On August 3, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to South Sudan where she met with President Kiir to reaffirm U.S. support and to encourage progress in negotiations with Sudan to reach agreement on issues related to security, oil and citizenship.
During a press availability with South Sudanese Foreign Minister Nhial Deng in Juba, Secretary Clinton said:
“South Sudan’s long quest for peace, dignity, and independence resonated in the hearts of the American people. American families sheltered children fleeing from war. America’s churches and charities provided assistance and support both here and to those who were displaced. And the United States — both our government and our people — remain committed to ensuring that the aspirations that the people of the Republic of South Sudan have are realized.
“Today, one year after your independence, we can start to see the fruits of your hard work and sacrifice — a foundational legal framework; new, more accountable governing institutions; and the promise of future economic growth and broader prosperity. But as the President, Foreign Minister, and others along with me and my delegation discussed, we know significant challenges remain. Continued violence along the border of Sudan, unresolved ethnic tensions, gaps in infrastructure and the rule of law, persistent poverty in a land rich with natural resources, and new economic hardships caused by the shutdown of oil. Continued progress hinges on South Sudan’s ability to overcome these challenges. The arrival of more than 200,000 refugees from ongoing fighting in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan is also creating urgent humanitarian needs, both here and in Ethiopia.
“Today, I’m announcing the United States is contributing an additional $15 million to help the UN High Commissioner for Refugees respond to this crisis, bringing our total refugee assistance relief to more than $50 million.
“The oil shutdown and the refugee crisis both point to an inescapable fact: While South Sudan and Sudan have become separate states, their fortunes and their futures remain inextricably linked. The promise of prosperity rests on the prospects for peace. And South Sudan’s ability to attract trade and investment depends on greater security on both sides of the border.”