Lawmakers 'alarmed' by 'troubling direction' of US-backed South Sudan

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The letter calls on Kiir to reassign leaders of the Sudan People's Liberation Army that fought for independence against neighboring Sudan away from Jonglei, hold human rights violators to account and remove restrictions on the movement of United Nations peacekeepers. The letter was signed by the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate foreign affairs panels.

The creation of South Sudan was one of President Obama's most notable foreign policy successes during his first term after he helped secure a referendum on self-determination from Sudan in 2011. Relations with the new president quickly hit a rough patch however after Kiir personally misled Obama about his government's continued support for rebels fighting across the border in Sudan.

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