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U.S. extends economic hand to South Sudan

April 8, 2013 at 10:19 AM

WASHINGTON, April 8 (UPI) -- A financial forum next week in Washington will give policymakers insight into how South Sudan can chart its economic future, the State Department said.

The U.S. State Department announced plans to host a South Sudanese economic forum next week alongside the Norwegian, British and European governments.

The forum will offer insight into how South Sudan can diversify an economy dependent on oil revenue.

"The South Sudan Economic Partners Forum is an opportunity for representatives of governments and international financial institutions to discuss strategies to address South Sudan's economic challenges with South Sudanese government officials and offer support for sound government policy-making," the State Department said.

South Sudan restarted oil production last week after more than a year. Oil sharing, border conflicts and ethnic turmoil are among the issues threatening a peace deal that secured South Sudan's independence from Sudan in 2011.

The United Nations called on the South Sudanese government to take security seriously a probe into a February attack on Jonglei state that left at least 85 cattle herders dead.

The International Committee of the Red Cross last week said it distributed subsistence assistance to an estimated 12,000 people in Jonglei, the largest state in South Sudan.

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