U.S. Recalls South Sudan Ambassador After Unity Gov’t Failure

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -

The United States has recalled its ambassador from South Sudan after the leaders of formerly warring factions failed to agree on a unity government, the State Department said on Monday.

Ambassador Thomas Hushek will return for consultations “as part of the re-evaluation of the U.S. relationship with the Government of South Sudan given the latest developments,” the department said in a statement.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted that Washington would “work with the region to support efforts to achieve peace and a successful political transition in South Sudan.”

After a devastating five-year civil war, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar signed a peace deal in September 2018, under pressure from the United Nations, United States and regional governments.

On Nov. 7, they agreed to give themselves another 100 days beyond a Nov. 12 deadline to form the unity government, and Washington said it was “gravely disappointed.”

The conflict began after Kiir sacked Machar as vice president. It killed an estimated 400,000 people, triggered a famine and created Africa’s biggest refugee crisis since the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.