Skip to main content

Clinton to make first visit to South Sudan during Africa trip

By Jethro Mullen, CNN
updated 4:17 PM EDT, Wed August 1, 2012
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pictured here on July 24, 2012, sets off Tuesday on an 11-day trip.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pictured here on July 24, 2012, sets off Tuesday on an 11-day trip.
  • South Sudan, the world's youngest country, is in conflict with Sudan
  • Clinton's visit aims to encourage negotiations between the two sides
  • She will also travel to Uganda, which is dealing with an Ebola virus outbreak
  • While in Kenya, Clinton will meet the leader of Somalia's transitional government

(CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will this week make her first visit to South Sudan, a nation barely one year old that is locked in a bitter dispute with its northern neighbor, as part of a six-country tour of Africa.

Clinton sets off Tuesday on the 11-day trip, which is intended to emphasize U.S. efforts to strengthen democracy, encourage economic growth and further peace and security in Africa, Victoria Nuland, a State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement Monday.

The visit begins in Senegal, a small country on Africa's west coast that has been an outpost of democratic stability in a region with a history of electoral chaos, civil wars and coups.

Despite outbreaks of violence in Senegal earlier this year surrounding former President Abdoulaye Wade's decision to seek a controversial third term in office, power passed peacefully to the eventual victor in the presidential election, Macky Sall.

South Sudan's growing pains
Challenges on living in South Sudan
The hunt for Joseph Kony
Mia Farrow: Focus on Kony is good

Clinton will meet with Sall and "deliver a speech applauding the resilience of Senegal's democratic institutions and highlighting America's approach to partnership," Nuland said.

The secretary of state will then travel to one of the tensest areas of Africa: South Sudan, which has edged close to full-scale war with Sudan, the nation from which it separated in July 2011 after decades of bloody conflict.

The two African countries still disagree over the demarcation of the border between them and the transportation and processing of oil from South Sudan, which obtained around 70% of the formerly united country's reserves when it became independent.

The U.N. Security Council is pressuring the countries to find a peaceful resolution of the disputes. Border clashes have displaced at least 150,000 people and created a huge humanitarian crisis.

While in South Sudan, Clinton will meet President Salva Kiir in order to "reaffirm U.S. support and to encourage progress in negotiations with Sudan to reach agreement on issues related to security, oil and citizenship," Nuland said.

Clinton's next stop is Uganda, where the authorities are dealing with an outbreak of the highly infectious Ebola virus that has killed at least 14 people this month.

Uganda is "a key U.S. partner in promoting regional security, particularly in regard to Somalia and in regional efforts to counter the Lord's Resistance Army," Nuland said.

A highly effective celebrity-backed social media campaign earlier this year by the nonprofit group Invisible Children focused worldwide attention on the Lord's Resistance Army and its leader, the fugitive warlord Joseph Kony.

The African Union has stepped up efforts this year to capture Kony, deploying 5,000 troops in March after a resurgence in attacks by his forces displaced thousands of people in Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, according to U.N. estimates.

Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court at the Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity, stemming in part from allegations of his vicious tactics to conscript children as soldiers and sex slaves in his army.

President Barack Obama ordered 100 troops to central Africa last year to help in the hunt for Kony. The troops are advising regional forces.

After Uganda, Clinton will visit Kenya, where she will meet local officials, as well as Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, president of the transitional government of Somalia, which is trying to emerge from years of civil war.

Security appears to be improving in Somalia, long considered a failed state, since African Union troops pushed Al-Shabaab, an Islamic militant group affiliated with al Qaeda, out of central Mogadishu last year after prolonged urban fighting.

Clinton will then head south to Malawi where she will "discuss economic and political governance," Nuland said.

Lastly, she will visit South Africa to participate in a strategic dialogue between the two countries and pay her respects to Nelson Mandela, the former president.

The frail icon has not appeared in public for years, but he was celebrated worldwide on his 94th birthday earlier this month for his role in reconciling a country torn apart by apartheid.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.