On the first anniversary of South Sudan's independence from Sudan, the European Union appealed to both countries to "reach agreement on all outstanding post-secession issues through implementing the African Union Roadmap and UNSC Resolution 2046 without delay or condition and within the given timeframe."
"Lasting peace and development in South Sudan will only be possible once South Sudan and Sudan live side by side as good neighbors respecting each other's sovereignty," EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton said in a joint statement with European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs on Monday, the first anniversary of the Republic of South Sudan's independence.
The EU acknowledged the efforts by the Government of South Sudan during the past 12 months, during which it worked to establish itself as a secure and prosperous country, and encouraged its leaders to show the necessary statesmanship to pursue this endeavor.
The EU reaffirmed its commitment to support South Sudan and to help its people achieve durable prosperity through its development assistance program.
EU contributed nearly EUR 300 million for South Sudan's development. "South Sudan's recent accession to the Cotonou Agreement has opened prospects for an even closer partnership between the EU and South Sudan in the future," said Piebalgs.
In a message on behalf of President Barack Obama and the people of the United States, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admired South Sudan for its work to provide security, accountability and systemic respect for human rights.
South Sudan has been hard at work over the past year building governing structures and a foundational legal framework.
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.
Clinton expressed the hope 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, she added.
South Sudan seceded from the North on July 9, 2011 dividing Africa's largest country into two.
Despite the partition, North and South Sudan have a lot of work remaining to put in place, such as arrangements on security, citizenship, international treaties, economics, a soft border and natural resources.
They include the amount of oil proceeds to the North during a transition period before they lose most of their revenue from the South's oil, and problems of ownership of the pipeline and other complicated structural issues in how to run the oil sector when countries divide.
South Sudan is possessing 80 percent of the immense oil resources that have been the common asset of undivided Sudan, but Sudan is controlling the pipeline that brings this oil to market, as the port used to ship it abroad is in the North. Both parties are yet to resolve oil and transitional financial arrangements
Since South Sudan's independence, peace between the two countries has been threatened by clashes along their common border and post-independence issues, including the ownership of the Abyei area which straddles the two countries, causing the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.
The ongoing flux of refugees, the continued threat of conflict and severe food insecurity make it more pressing to address their needs.
by RTT Staff Writer
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