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U.S. Is Facing Hard Choices in South Sudan........Says The Country IS AN AMERICAN CREATION

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01/04/2014 08:00 AM
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U.S. Is Facing Hard Choices in South Sudan........Says The Country IS AN AMERICAN CREATION
[link to mobile.nytimes.com] South Sudan is in many ways an American creation, carved out of war-torn Sudan in a referendum largely orchestrated by the United States, its fragile institutions nurtured with billions of dollars in American aid. But a murky, vicious conflict there has left the Obama administration scrambling to prevent the unraveling of a major American achievement in Africa.

With at least 1,000 people killed in fighting between government and rebel forces, and with disturbing reports of ethnically motivated atrocities by both sides, President Obama faces the real prospect that South Sudan could become Africa’s next failed state.

On the first morning of his Hawaii visit, two weeks ago, Mr. Obama woke up to an urgent conference call with his national security team about the fighting in South Sudan, and efforts to evacuate American citizens. He has been briefed on it every day since, his aides said — a level of attention unheard-of for any other crisis in that part of Africa.

As with Syria and other sectarian conflicts, Mr. Obama does not have many good options. With no plans for American military intervention, the United States is frantically brokering peace talks between the warring factions while trying to fortify a United Nations peacekeeping force. It is also consulting Uganda and Ethiopia, whose troops could intervene to prevent rebels from seizing South Sudan’s capital, Juba.

“None of us is naïve; this

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