Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement on the independence of the new nation South Sudan, which takes place tomorrow:
“Tomorrow marks the first day of official independence for the new nation of South Sudan, whose people voted overwhelmingly to secede from Sudan earlier this year. The long-running conflict between northern and southern Sudan was Africa’s bloodiest civil war, and the independence of South Sudan holds out hope for a new beginning—a more secure future for the people of the south. The Obama Administration, along with many of our allies in the international community, worked hard to make the referendum possible, and I thank them for their efforts.
“Still, South Sudan faces grave challenges. The people of South Sudan lack widespread access to some of the most basic infrastructure, from roads to electricity to clean water systems. The disputed Abyei region, on the border between Sudan and South Sudan, has also seen disproportionate military offenses from the Sudanese government, which have put civilians at risk. Tomorrow’s announcement of independence can be a step toward more prosperity and peace for the people of Southern Sudan. But this is only a beginning, and I hope that our government and the international community will remain vigilant to help ensure that the infancy of this new nation is a success.”