August 2 2012 at 08:59pm
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived Thursday in the Ugandan capital Kampala, which has been hit by an Ebola outbreak and where she will spend one night before heading to South Sudan.
Clinton will hold security talks with the leaders of both nations, the second and third stops on her 11-day tour of seven African nations.
South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, celebrated its first anniversary on July 9, and the United States played a major part in its birth.
Clinton will meet with President Salva Kiir, whose government has yet to agree on its border with the rump state of Sudan and settle a crippling dispute on oil revenues.
The UN Security Council has given the two countries, which this year came close to all-out war, until Thursday to reach a peace deal or face sanctions.
“We are encouraging both sides, South Sudan and Sudan, to effectively negotiate the differences between them,” said a high-ranking official from the State Department.
“Both countries are in a non-work spiral as a result of their political differences and as the result of the cut-off in oil… Our desire is to see all of these issues negotiated out.”
“In addition to showing our continued support, the Secretary will express our continue concern about the lack of movement in the resolution of the key issues that divide the two countries,” the official said.
“These issues are oil and revenue sharing, citizenship, a disputed border,” the official said. “Both countries are experiencing economic dislocation.”
On her return from South Sudan, Clinton will pass back through Uganda, where topics on the agenda will likely include the bloody rebellion by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and its chief Joseph Kony, wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
She will visit a military base in Uganda where she will be briefed about the hunt for Kony and efforts to fight the Shebab Islamist militants in Somalia.
Kampala is also in the midst of dealing with an outbreak of Ebola – one of the world’s most virulent diseases – that has already killed 15 people nationwide.
Clinton’s tour is focused on President Barack Obama’s new Africa strategy of promoting development by stimulating economic growth, advancing peace and security and strengthening democracy.
On the first stop of her tour, in Senegal, Clinton Ä who has now visited 104 countries as secretary of state, more than any predecessor Ä hailed the west African nation as an example that “democracy can prosper on the continent”.
She said she had a “productive, comprehensive” discussion with President Macky Sall.
“I want to thank him for taking time to discuss a number of issues – economic issues, regional, security issues, issues that the United States is very committed to assisting Senegal on addressing.”
Clinton will also visit Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and finish her trip by attending the state funeral of Ghana’s late president John Atta Mills on August 10. – Sapa-AFP