President Barack Obama announced today that the United States formally recognizes the Republic of South Sudan as a sovereign and independent state upon this day, July 9, 2011.
President Obama said, "After so much struggle by the people of South Sudan, the United States of America welcomes the birth of a new nation. Today is a reminder that after the darkness of war, the light of a new dawn is possible. A proud flag flies over Juba and the map of the world has been redrawn. These symbols speak to the blood that has been spilled, the tears that have been shed, the ballots that have been cast, and the hopes that have been realized by so many millions of people. The eyes of the world are on the Republic of South Sudan. And we know that southern Sudanese have claimed their sovereignty, and shown that neither their dignity nor their dream of self-determination can be denied."
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined President Obama in congratulating the people of the Republic of South Sudan. Secretary Clinton said, "The realization of this historic day is a testament to the tireless efforts of the people of South Sudan in their search for peace. We commend South Sudan's current leaders, including President Salva Kiir Mayardit, for helping guide Southern Sudan to this moment. And we recognize the determination and courage of the many southern Sudanese who never abandoned their hope that peace was possible and who stood in long lines on January 9 to cast their votes. Independence presents a new beginning for the people of South Sudan; an opportunity to build a nation that embodies the values and aspirations of its people. The challenges are many, but the South Sudanese people have demonstrated their capacity to overcome great odds."
Secretary Clinton continued, "...This historic day not only offers opportunity for the people of South Sudan, but also for the people of Sudan and all of Africa. We commend the Government of Sudan on its decision to be the first to recognize South Sudan's independence. By continuing on the path of peace, the Government of Sudan can redefine its relationship with the international community and secure a more prosperous future for its people. The United States recognizes the important roles played by the United Nations, African Union, European Union, Arab League, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and Sudan's neighbors in supporting the CPA and its implementation, and we look forward to working with them and other international partners toward supporting Sudan and South Sudan as two viable states at peace with one another."
A Presidential Delegation to the Republic of South Sudan, led by U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Susan E. Rice, attended the ceremony marking the Republic of South Sudan's independence on July 9. Following the Republic of South Sudan's declaration of independence, the United States established full diplomatic relations with the country, upgrading the U.S. Consulate General in Juba to a U.S. Embassy. Ambassador Barrie Walkley, the U.S. Consul General in Juba, will serve as Charge d'Affaires pending the appointment of a U.S. Ambassador to Juba.
This fall, the United States will host an international engagement conference that will provide the Republic of South Sudan with a platform to present its vision for the future of its country and engage partners on priority areas of support and collaboration.
The United States stands with the people of both Sudan and South Sudan during this time of great hope and immense challenge. Our commitment extends beyond July 9, and we will continue to expand on our deeply-rooted partnership in the years ahead.
You can read more about U.S. support to peace and security in South Sudan here.