THE BLOG
08/23/2014 11:57 pm ET Updated Oct 23, 2014

Friends and Diaspora of South Sudan Urge Leaders to Choose Peace

Following the U.N. Security Council's recent emergency visit to South Sudan, IGAD Heads of State are scheduled to meet on Sunday, August 24, to discuss the possibility of a joint statement by the UNSC and IGAD regarding the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.

Pressure is mounting on the warring parties by the international community and human rights groups as ceasefire agreements are violated, peace talks in Addis Ababa stall, and the threat of famine increases without an adequate response from donors.

South Sudan once represented the success of an indigenous people to claim their freedom from an oppressive regime. This week, friends of South Sudan and members of the Diaspora wrote a letter to the leaders of South Sudan reminding them of the vision and the determination that inspired their struggle and achieved their success. The letter urges the leaders to choose a better way -- to choose peace.

"We write to you as friends of South Sudan and members of the Diaspora. At your request and at the request of the South Sudanese people, we have invested our lives and resources to support your great and costly struggle for freedom, justice, equality and peace.

With you, we envisioned a new South Sudan where a government that reflected and represented the people of South Sudan would govern in a manner that would provide protection, security and stability throughout the country. With you, we believed the resources of the country, including donations from the international community, would be used to build roads and the necessary infrastructure that would enable the development of South Sudan in ways that would protect the near-pristine environment of South Sudan while attracting investors, opening up markets and creating employment opportunities that spurred economic growth. With you, we saw a bright future where every South Sudanese had access to education, healthcare, clean water, proper sanitation, food and basic necessities that would allow them to work beside you to build a strong and prosperous nation." - Letter via Sudan Unlimited

Supporters of peace in South Sudan are encouraged to add their name to the letter through an online petition at change.org.