WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.
“While I welcome the signing of a peace agreement by the Sudanese People Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO), I am concerned by the government of South Sudan’s delay in signing the accord. The human cost of this war has been beyond measure — tens of thousands have been killed and the level of brutality has been unspeakable.
“By some estimates, more than fifty thousand South Sudanese have been killed and 2.5 million others are displaced. The World Food Program estimates more than 4.6 million people (40% of the population) face life-threatening hunger. In June, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan issued a report detailing rampant rape, killing and looting in the course of recent hostilities. It was the latest in a series of damning reports on gross abuses against civilians in the course of this conflict.
“If an agreement is not signed within 15 days, the international community must take tougher measures against the senior political leadership of warring factions, and establish a U.N. arms embargo against both the government of South Sudan and the SPLM-IO.
“It is time to bring the human suffering to an end. We must work with Sudanese civil society, regional leaders and the international community to ensure accountability for the atrocities perpetrated against the people of South Sudan.”