November 25, 2019 (WASHINGTON) – The United States has recalled its ambassador from South Sudan after the failed formation of a national unity government, the State Department said Monday.
“The Department of State has called back U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Thomas Hushek for consultations related to the recent failure of parties to form the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity by the extended deadline of November 12,” reads the State Department statement.
The move comes barely a month after Washington vowed to re-evaluate its relationship with the young nation.
While in Washington, Hushek will meet with senior U.S. government officials “as part of the re-evaluation of the U.S. relationship with the Government of South Sudan”.
“The United States stands with the people of South Sudan in their pursuit of peace and will work in partnership with the region to support efforts to achieve peace and a successful political transition in South Sudan,” the State Department stressed.
The U.S Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo also said Washington recalled its ambassador for “consultations” as it prepares to re-evaluate its relationship with the Government of South Sudan.
“We will work with the region to support efforts to achieve peace and a successful political transition in South Sudan” he tweeted on Monday.
Edmund Yakani, a South Sudan activist, said Washington’s decision to recall the envoy showed the US is moving towards harder position in their relationship with the Juba government.
“South Sudan government needs to take this act seriously, including the parties’ signatories to the revitilised peace agreement,” he told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.
Yakani, also Executive Director for Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO), urged the US administration to compromise for their position.
On November 7, President Salva Kiir and the country’s opposition leader Riek Machar agreed to delay key benchmarks in the peace agreement by 100 days.
The delay in forming a national unity government on November 12 came after Machar’s group raised concerns that the country’s security arrangements are still incomplete.
South Sudan descended into civil war in mid-December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of plotting a coup, allegations the latter dismissed.
In September last year, the country’s rival factions signed a revitalized peace deal to end the civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.