3 August 2012

South Sudan: Hillary Clinton Expected in Juba Today

Juba — The United States (US) Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is due in the South Sudan capital, Juba, this Friday as part of her 11-day tour of seven African countries, including Uganda, Senegal, Malawi, South African, Kenyan and Ghana.

Clinton is expected to hold a brief discussion with the South Sudan leader, Salva Kiir, to urge officials in the world's newest nation to find ways of resolving their long standing disputes with neighbouring Sudan.

The high level meeting is being organised by the presidency in collaboration with officials from South Sudan's foreign affairs ministry.

The State Department spokesperson Patrick Ventrell, told reporters last Wednesday that Clinton will discuss the need to reach an agreement on the disputed issues with Sudan. She is also expected to discuss economic development in the new country.

A senior US official told the AP that she would express concern about a "lack of movement" in resolving the situation but also reaffirm America's strong support for South Sudan.

Officials from Sudan and South Sudan are currently involved in talks on a range of post-secession issues, after the latter split from the former more than a year ago. The two sides, now face possible sanctions, after the 2 August deadline, set by the United Nations

Security Council (UNSC) expired on Thursday without a deal.

The US, under former President George W. Bush, played a fundamental role in the negotiations that brokered the 2005 peace deal, which ended over two decades of a bloody civil war between north and south Sudan. Since then, America has been seen as a key ally of South Sudan, given the enormous support it receives financially.

In a related development, the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has asked Clinton to press South Sudan, during her visit, on allegedly cases of human rights abuses in the country, citing unlawful detention, arbitrary arrests and absence of justice systems to try prisoners.

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