A senior official from South Sudan traveled to Washington this week to solicit U.S. support—and money—for a fragile new peace deal aimed at ending the country’s five-year civil war. In the past, billions of U.S. dollars have flowed into the new nation, along with a great deal of tender American attention. But the mood in Washington is much different now.
This time, the Americans scoffed at and castigated the visitor, Taban Deng Gai, the first vice president of South Sudan, as he tried to assure them the new peace plan would stick.
Through its own abuses and corruption—and after just seven years of existence—South Sudan has gone from being a poor but hopeful nation to something close to a failed state led by a corrupt, oppressive military elite.
Deng met a group of nearly two dozen current and former U.S. officials at a closed-door event this week marked by tense exchanges. He was there to sell Washington on a peace plan signed last month to end the violence that has fractured the country since 2013, two years after it gained independence from Sudan…
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