Bipartisan Group of House Members Introduce Resolution on South Sudan

July 29, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5), Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (NY-16), Rep. Frank Wolf (VA-10), Rep. Michael Capuano (MA-7), and Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-10) introduced H. Res. 689 yesterday. The resolution supports efforts to end the conflict in South Sudan and encourages greater engagement to alleviate the humanitarian crisis there. The resolution also praises efforts by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, a group of eight nations in the region committed to promoting peaceful regional development, to mediate the conflict. Reps. Lee, Wolf, Capuano, and McCaul serve as Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Caucus on Sudan and South Sudan.

View the text of the resolution. [PDF]

“Since helping to broker the agreement that led to South Sudan’s independence in 2011, the United States has been committed to helping the world’s newest state build democratic institutions and pursue peaceful economic development,” Whip Hoyer said. “The outbreak of ethnic violence has served as a tragic impediment to that effort, and as a result thousands of South Sudanese have been killed and millions displaced. This resolution reaffirm’s America’s resolve to help the South Sudanese people pursue a future free from bloodshed by providing humanitarian assistance. However, as I wrote in a letter to Secretary John Kerry on July 18 with eight other House Members, humanitarian aid ‘can only be effective if the Government of South Sudan, opposition forces, and all other parties to the conflict stop fighting and remove obstacles to the delivery of life-saving assistance.’”

“The humanitarian crisis in South Sudan is deeply troubling. The targeted attacks against civilians must stop and safe access for humanitarian aid must be provided to all who need it,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “The United States Congress stands firmly with the people of South Sudan and I call on President Obama to secure high-level diplomatic engagement and work with regional stakeholders and Intergovernmental Authority to bring peace to the region.”

“To see South Sudan’s food crisis be called the ‘worst in the world’ by the U.N. is disconcerting,” said Rep. Frank Wolf. “ The fighting must stop, and it is well past time for both sides to come to the table. South Sudan at war with itself is not what the world envisioned when the country was created three short years ago.”

"The civil conflict that has been ongoing in South Sudan for the past seven months is tragic and it is fueling so much human suffering,” Ranking Member Engel said. “We are now facing a possible famine — a man-made event — in the world's newest country. I join my fellow Members of Congress in calling all sides to put down their weapons and negotiate in good faith and the best interests of their people and resolve the crisis currently gripping South Sudan. The international community has worked hand in hand with the people of South Sudan to achieve a more prosperous future. We must maintain our commitment to that goal and get South Sudan back on the path of peace and growth."

“I am deeply troubled by the ongoing violence that is devastating the people of South Sudan,” said Rep. Michael Capuano. “As fighting continues, desperately needed humanitarian assistance is not reaching those who need it and countless lives are at risk. We are committed to the people of South Sudan and to establishing peace in the region. We urge the Administration to help bring stability to South Sudan."

"With thousands of civilians dead and over a million displaced as a result of the senseless violence in South Sudan, a man-made famine now threatens the world’s newest country,” Rep. Michael McCaul said. “I am deeply troubled by reports that 50,000 children await an avoidable death sentence due to malnutrition and famine. The leaders of South Sudan must put down their arms so that their children and grandchildren may begin the work of building a sustainable peace and a prosperous country. The U.S. should help by sustaining high level diplomatic engagement to support the people of South Sudan."

Contact: Alison Mills (Rep. Capuano) 617-621-6208