Susan Rice to lead US delegation to South Sudan

South Sudan is poised to become independent on July 9 after five decades of conflict with the north.

Washington: Susan Rice, the US envoy to the United Nations, will lead the US delegation to the ceremony marking South Sudan`s independence, the White House announced on Wednesday.

Rice will be joined by Colin Powell, the former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Donald Payne, US Representative from New Jersey and Ranking Member of House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights.

Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, and Princeton Lyman, the US Special Envoy to Sudan, also will join the delegation, the White House said.

Brooke Anderson, Deputy National Security Advisor, Chief of Staff and Counselor for the National Security Staff; Donald Steinberg, Deputy Administrator, USAID; and General Carter Ham, Commander, US Africa Command, were to take part as were R Barrie Walkley, US Consul General in Juba and Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services.

South Sudan is poised to become independent on Saturday, July 09 after five decades of conflict with the north.

But some key issues remain unresolved, among them the countries` final boundaries, division of oil revenues and the status of citizens in the south who remain living in the north.

Earlier, Washington said it still was concerned by fighting in South Kordofan, at the border of Sudan and what will become the independent nation of South Sudan, the US State Department said.

"We continue... to call on the parties to agree to and implement an immediate cessation of hostilities, to allow unfettered access for aid workers, and to provide the humanitarian assistance into southern Kordofan," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. "This is an urgent requirement."

Bureau Report

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