August 18, 2014
The Honorable Samantha Power
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
799 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Dear Ambassador Power:
I am writing in regards to the ongoing violence and the abysmal humanitarian conditions in South Sudan. I urge that the United Nations Security Council swiftly impose robust sanctions against senior members on both sides of the conflict who are hindering the peace process and bear responsibility for human rights abuses. Thank you for your leadership on this critical issue.
As you know, an estimated 10,000 people have been killed and more than 1.1 million have been displaced during the nearly eight months of fighting. A severe man-made humanitarian crisis, including a grave risk of famine, looms over the people of South Sudan for no fault of their own. Political and military leadership of both the Republic of the South Sudan and the Sudan's People Liberation Movement/Army In-Opposition have shown complete disregard for the well-being of southern Sudanese. Tragically, each party has placed its personal interests and gains over the life-saving needs of those in South Sudan.
The United Nations Security Council must expeditiously impose stringent sanctions against senior members from the government and opposition in South Sudan to send a clear message that the international community will not tolerate violations of the cessation of hostilities and the derailing of the May 9th Agreement. A U.N. sanction regime would complement the Administration's effort and place additional pressure on both sides of the conflict to change course. Sudanese leaders must know they will be held accountable for gross human rights violations. Additionally, the Security Council should impose a comprehensive arms embargo on South Sudan. Weapons that enter the country only increase the likelihood of atrocities against civilians. Each day that passes without strong actions from the international community is another day innocent southern Sudanese are at greater risk of a cruel death and possible starvation.
Your recent emergency visit to Juba with other Security Council members delivered a strong message regarding the imperative of reconciliation to failing Sudanese leaders. The statement by the Security Council was powerful, and should be heeded. I too recently met with President Kiir during the African Leaders Summit and delivered a similarly stern message. When faced with possible war crimes, we cannot hesitate to act.
I appreciate your attention to this important matter and look forward to the day the people of South Sudan can enjoy the peace and prosperity envisioned with their independence three years ago.
EDWARD R. ROYCE