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U.S. voices support for South Sudan's development plans

12-15-2011 09:42 BJT

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday voiced full support for South Sudan's plans for development, saying the United States and its partners stand ready to "help preserve and finalize a hard-won peace" in the newest nation on earth.

Addressing an International Engagement Conference on South Sudan in Washington, a two-day event aiming to draw private investment into the country, the top U.S. envoy hailed the " ambitious vision for development" laid out by South Sudan's President Salva Kiir Mayardit, saying "Those are plans that we fully support."

She called for partnership between South Sudan and the international community in helping "create the conditions that make successful development possible."

She laid emphasis, among others, on "real peace and security" with an end to war, transparency and accountability, policies that favor broad, inclusive, and sustainable growth, strong institutions, and corruption elimination.

She warned South Sudan of the so-called natural resource curse, saying the country's abundant natural resources will either help finance its own path out of poverty, or will enrich only a small elite, outside interests, corporations and countries.

Citing Norway and Botswana as two alternative visions for South Sudan, Clinton noted that the two countries put their natural resources into a trust fund to support the needs of their peoples.

South Sudan, which won independence from Sudan on July 9, is among the poorest in the world, with a high maternal and child mortality rate, a high illiteracy rate, very limited infrastructure and an economy dependent on oil exports.

And with its northern neighbor, the south has a number of thorny issues unresolved, including oil revenues and external debt sharing, border demarcation and the status of the oil-rich Abyei region.

"While South Sudan and Sudan have become separate states, their futures remain inextricably linked," Clinton remarked. "South Sudan's ability to attract and keep trade and investment depends on greater security on both sides of its northern border. Right now, conflicts in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan threaten to spill into South Sudan. These issues must be resolved."

Fighting in Southern Kordofan state first erupted in early June between the Sudanese army and fighters aligned to the Sudan People 's Liberation Army, which became the regular army of South Sudan after its independence, and spilled over into nearby Blue Nile state three months later.

Sudan alleged that conflicts in its two states arose because of military support from the south, a claim denied by South Sudan.

"Reconciliation, agreements, negotiations between former advisories are difficult," Clinton said. "But the United States, our Troika partners, Norway and the UK, the African Union, which has done absolutely fabulous work in this arena, and many others stand ready to help preserve and finalize a hard-won peace."

Turkey, the European Union, the African Union, the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation were among those present at the conference.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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