(WASHINGTON) -- South Sudan celebrated the third anniversary of its independence on Wednesday, despite ongoing conflict.
The United States offered "best wishes" to the nation on the occasion, with Secretary of State John Kerry releasing a statement reaffirming the United States' commitment to the South Sudan.
"Three years ago I witnessed the people of South Sudan vote to forge a new nation, founded on the promise of a more peaceful and prosperous future for all of South Sudan's people," Kerry said in Wednesday's statement. Today, Kerry claimed, "that promise for which the people of South Sudan suffered and sacrificed so much is being threatened."
"Too much blood has been spilled, and too many lives have been lost, to allow South Sudan's moment of hope and opportunity to slip from its grasp," the U.S. secretary of state said.
While the anniversary is a major milestone for South Sudan, and the U.S., "remains committed to supporting the people of South Sudan," Kerry called for the South Sudanese leaders to, "use the Intergovernmental Authority on Development peace process to end the conflict and establish a transitional government that can ensure stability, prosperity and peace for all."
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