Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Committee’s Ranking Member, issued the following statement on the one year anniversary of South Sudan’s civil war:

“It has been one year since leaders in South Sudan so completely failed their people and went to war with each other. This man-made crisis has killed tens of thousands, displaced nearly two million people, and left even more facing dire food insecurity.

“The U.S. has expended significant resources – both political and financial – in helping the people of South Sudan achieve their aspiration of establishing an independent country that is at peace.  The unfortunate reality today though is that South Sudanese political leaders are an impediment to achieving that goal. Khartoum is feeding political and inter-ethnic tensions, but that doesn’t excuse the reckless and destructive actions of southern political leaders.

“We reiterate the need for the President to use his authority to impose targeted sanctions on high profile figures on both sides of the conflict in South Sudan that are obstructing the peace process. The U.S. should also press the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions and an arms embargo, to ensure that more weapons are not flooding into South Sudan that would put more civilians at risk and further embolden the warring factions.”

NOTE: On April 3, 2014, the President issued Executive Order 13664, which provides the authority to sanction individuals who threaten the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan. To date, four individuals have been designated under this authority.