WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after the Department of State announced the appointment of W. Stuart Symington IV as special envoy for South Sudan:
“The announcement of Stuart Symington as special envoy for South Sudan is a necessary step to sustain the country’s ceasefire, aid in negotiations, and support efforts to sanction entities that continue to profit from the ongoing conflict. The people of South Sudan have suffered gravely under years of civil war fueled by its own leaders and U.S. diplomatic leadership is needed to help move the region towards progress.
“I have been deeply concerned about the continued suffering of the South Sudanese people despite the billions of dollars in U.S. assistance the country has received. While Symington’s appointment is a welcome step, given the magnitude of the crimes that have been committed, the endemic corruption, and grave levels of sexual violence that have occurred under the leadership of President Salva Kiir, the U.S. cannot take undertake a business-as-usual approach to its diplomatic engagement. As another deadline approaches for the warring parties to form a unity government, I hope that Mr. Symington can help put the country on a more peaceful path forward.”
In November 2019, Booker, along with Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and John Boozman (R-AR), called on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to provide urgently-needed U.S. diplomatic leadership to South Sudan. Booker also called on Pompeo in June 2019 to fill key diplomatic positions in South Sudan.