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US Sen. Jim Rish: The corrupt and selfish leaders of South Sudan are the hurdle to peace in the country



US Sen. Jim Rish

JUBA – Outspoken United States Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) has urged the Biden Administration must make sure that millions of dollars in United States assistance to South Sudan is not used to perpetuate the status quote, but to help the suffering people of the world’s youngest country.

Sen. Risch made the remarks in a statement-making South Sudan’s 11th independence anniversary which it gained from Sudan in July 2011 following decades of conflict with support from the people and the government of the United States and a few other powerful Western Countries.

In the statement, Sen. Risch stressed the commitment of the United States government to remaining a supporter of the people of South Sudan but said the country’s leaders are the biggest barrier to peace and further urged the Biden administration to make sure that US funding is used properly and not to be used to empower the ‘corrupt and selfish’ South Sudan leaders.

“As South Sudan enters its eleventh year of independence, the United States remains a steadfast partner to the South Sudanese people in their journey toward achieving sustainable peace, prosperity, and democracy. South Sudan’s leaders, however, remain the country’s greatest barrier to realizing its aspirations as they continue to rule without elected democratic legitimacy,” he said.

“While the United States is deeply invested in helping the world’s youngest nation succeed, we must be careful that our assistance is being used to support the people of South Sudan and not to perpetuate the status quo or further the corrupt and selfish behaviour of its leaders,” he added.

The statement further said that “The Biden Administration must listen to Congress and prioritize developing a clear South Sudan policy, conduct a serious review of U.S. support to the country, and match our investment in assistance with serious diplomatic engagement.”

On December 9, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan resolution, S. Res. 380, reiterating U.S. support for the people of South Sudan in their quest for lasting peace, stability, and democracy, and calling for a review of U.S. policy toward South Sudan. The resolution, led by Risch Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), followed the 10th anniversary of South Sudan’s independence.

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