U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Nairobi, Kenya, for talks with East African foreign ministers on ways to stop neighboring South Sudan from sliding back into civil war.
Kerry met Monday with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta before he planned to join the other ministers for talks on how to make sure peace is maintained in the world's newest country.
"The people of South Sudan have suffered for far too long," a senior State Department official told reporters. "The continued instability there has led to almost a million refugees and a humanitarian crisis that is far beyond the abilities of even the international community to respond to."
South Sudan has been troubled almost since the day it gained independence from Sudan in 2011. Civil war, violence and territorial disputes with Sudan have made it difficult for the oil-rich country to thrive.
Kerry and the African foreign ministers also plan to discuss the situation in Somalia, which is looking toward upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections to help bring stability.
Later this week, he will stop in Nigeria, where Boko Haram terrorists have killed more than 20,000 people since 2009 - and Saudi Arabia, which is leading an Arab coalition against Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The Saudi-led airstrikes have obliterated neighborhoods in the rebel-held capital of Sana'a and killed numerous civilians.