December 24, 2013 New York – AJC welcomed the UN Security Council decision today to dispatch more peacekeeping troops to South Sudan in an effort to quell the violence that has gripped the nation in recent days.
“AJC celebrated the birth of South Sudan in July 2011, heralding a new era for the people of this troubled, but promising region,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “However, something went wrong in recent days. The loss of life, rising numbers of refugees, and expanding violence are deeply painful as they threaten the future of this new nation.”
The UN Security Council action provides for another 6,000 international troops and police officers to join the more than 7,600 peacekeeping forces already on the ground in South Sudan.
“The U.S. and international community were essential to creating the conditions for South Sudan’s independence, and now will be critical to ending the bloodshed, and to stabilizing the country and setting it on a hopeful course,” said Harris.
As U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said, the leaders of South Sudan “can return to the political dialogue and spirit of cooperation that helped establish South Sudan, or they can destroy those hard-fought gains and tear apart their newborn nation.”
AJC has been involved in advocacy concerning South Sudan, including several visits, since the creation of its Africa Institute in 2006.