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Action Alert
Take Action Urge the Obama Administration to Take Strong Action on South Sudan!

The people of South Sudan are starving, and recent violence has only increased the humanitarian crisis.  The path toward peace is now even more distant on the horizon.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011 and ended Africa's longest-running civil war. But, the new state plunged into conflict in December 2013 when a power struggle erupted between the President and the Vice-President. Violence spread like wildfire. The two warring factions signed a peace agreement this past August but the fighting has not stopped.  In July  violence erupted in Juba  and has since spread all over the country with  especially high instances of fighting and human rights violations in  the area of Yei, increasing the number of displaced people and people fleeing to Uganda

More than 10 per cent of South Sudan's 11.3 million people  fled the country in a mass exodus that was accelerating.  In addition to the nearly 1.3 million South Sudanese living in refugee camps, about 1.6 million more have been displaced inside the country. Some 200,000 were sheltering in or near UN peacekeepers' bases.  4 million people, about 40 per cent of South Sudan's remaining inhabitants, are facing impending famine, the UN's food agencies warn.

The international community must take strong action in order to help the people of South Sudan.  Leaders encouraging the violence must be held accountable and the flow of weapons in to the country must be stopped.   The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) must be strengthened.  The mission needs additional materials in order be able to fulfill their mandate and protect civilians.  And, all countries supporting UNMISS must continue to do so.  Any withdrawals would send precisely the wrong signal, in South Sudan and across the world.

In addition the US must encourage the following actions:

1. Set up systems that allow power to be shared among a wider range of people.

2. The Hybrid Court described in the 2015 peace agreement should be set up quickly to make sure that crimes (presumably those associated with the conflict in particular) are identified and punished in a timely fashion.

3. Penalize those leaders who have been the biggest violators of human rights or have caused the most conflict by taking their money or limiting their financial transactions. The United States could help this process by enforcing international regulations meant to prevent “money laundering” and imposing economic sanctions on specific leaders

4. Additional humanitarian assistance  to  South Sudan is desperately needed.  The US must increase it’s emergency assistance immediately to help ease the current suffering and stave off any additional increases in violence.

Please write to President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry today and urge them to publicly support these four steps.  Urge them to advocate strongly for the UN Security Council members to do the same.  

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