White House ‘skeptical’ leaders in South Sudan can bring ‘genuine peace’ to nation

White House ‘skeptical’ leaders in South Sudan can bring ‘genuine peace’ to nation
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The White House on Sunday condemned a measure that extends the term of South Sudan's government and warned that a narrow peace agreement by the country's "elites" could fuel "another cycle of conflict."

"The only hope for success is a process that is widely inclusive of the views of the South Sudanese people and that engages civil society, churches, women, and other excluded groups," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

"A narrow agreement between elites will not solve the problems plaguing South Sudan," she continued. "In fact, such an agreement may sow the seeds of another cycle of conflict."

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Violence erupted in South Sudan in 2013 amid a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Riek Machar, who is now the opposition leader in the country. 

In her statement, Sanders said that both Kiir and Machar "have not demonstrated the leadership required to bring genuine peace and accountable governance to South Sudan."

Multiple ceasefire deals between the warring factions have repeatedly fallen apart. 

The U.S. is South Sudan's largest aid donor. Sanders said Sunday, however, that Washington would withhold funding absent a peace deal that includes "civil society, churches, women, and other excluded groups."

"The United States will not be a guarantor of any agreement, and will not fund — or call for additional United Nations resources — to support the transitional government, in the absence of a sustained, demonstrated commitment to peace, inclusivity, financial accountability and good governance," she said.