Washington, DC - President Barack Obama: "Last December, when a political conflict erupted into violence in South Sudan, the hope and optimism the world felt with the founding of the new nation in 2011 was overtaken by images of bloodshed and grief. Instead of seeing the promise of their struggle for self-determination realized, the people of South Sudan have suffered countless, unimaginable tragedies.
"The magnitude of this crisis is felt in both the devastation that violence has left in towns and villages, and the scars—visible and invisible—on the South Sudanese people.
"Today, I appeal to the leaders of South Sudan to pursue peace as a way to honor those who have died. It is in your hands to end the cycle of violence, to set forth on a course of reform and reconciliation, and to hold to account those responsible for atrocities. Leadership that recalls the promise of South Sudan is what the country now needs to end this senseless conflict.
"To the people of South Sudan, who have suffered for far too long, I urge you to renew the spirit of hope, unity, and fortitude that enabled you almost four years ago to come together and vote for a brighter future. For the sake of future generations, I urge you to seek peaceful reconciliation rather than violent retribution. The United States will remain a friend to those who seek peace and progress, and will stand with the people of South Sudan." ~ President Barack Obama