News / Africa

US Ambassador Says South Sudan Faces Challenges, Opportunities

US Ambassador to South Sudan Susan Page (AP file photo)US Ambassador to South Sudan Susan Page (AP file photo)
x
US Ambassador to South Sudan Susan Page (AP file photo)
US Ambassador to South Sudan Susan Page (AP file photo)
John Tanza
[Editor's note: This story updates and corrects errors in an earlier version.]

The United States Ambassador to South Sudan, Susan Page, said her government is working to create economic opportunities for youth in South Sudan, while at the same time encouraging the new country to diversify its economy, allow press and media freedoms and actively promote good governance.  Ambassador Page also said South Sudan’s future depends on the outcome of ongoing peace talks with Sudan in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“The country has a lot of potential," she said. "Of course we see the conflicts in various states that are going on between ethnic groups, between rebel militia groups, but we still believe in the potential of this country. We always knew this was going to be a long-term program."

Page pointed out countries don’t become independent overnight and suddenly become a model of democracy, human rights and good governance. She said the U.S. is focused on helping South Sudan create economic opportunities, especially for young people.

“Over 70 percent of the population is under 30 years old. There are really big opportunities but there are also huge challenges to find appropriate work and opportunities for the youth, [such as] education, [and] promoting a new, constitutional development process," said the ambassador.

She said South Sudan got through the initial year of independence, and now the U.S. can help South Sudan diversify its economy, expand press and media freedoms, and promote good governance.

Recently, South Sudan was faced with an alleged government corruption scandal involving billions of dollars. Page disputed the notion that the U.S. is not challenging South Sudan on living up to its stated goals of good governance.

“We don’t have to do it through lots and lots of public speeches," she said. We published our human rights report, the first since South Sudan had become an independent state. There were a lot of public comments from ministers who were not terribly happy about our report.”

Page said the U.S. would like to see accountability, adding that when people are arrested, they should be brought up on charges, tried in a fair process, and punished accordingly.

There's no doubt the economic situation in South Sudan is precarious, Page said, noting that the issue has been addressed by the U.S. government and other donors, including the United Kingdom, the European Union, Norway, and the African Union.
 
South Sudan and Sudan recently reached a tentative agreement on oil transport fees that is expected to end a standoff between the two countries.  The months-long dispute led to the shutdown of oil production in South Sudan and caused economic turmoil in both countries this year.

Page said after the recent oil deal was reached, donors renewed their pledges to help South Sudan. She noted that, even with the pending oil transfer agreement, it will take several months before oil resumes flowing, and revenue begins to reach government accounts again.

Listen to John Tanza's interview with the U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan
Llisten to John Tanza interview Ambassador Pagei
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid