WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Even though civil war in the Sudanese region is over, there are serious concerns about the security situation there, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations said.
Delegates, including South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, gathered this week in Washington for an international engagement conference for South Sudan.
South Sudan gained independence this year under the terms of a peace agreement reached with Washington's help in 2005. Border conflicts and issues regarding oil are destabilizing factors in the region.
Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, described South Sudan's problems as "immense." It's one of the poorest countries in the world, she said, where only 15 percent of the people can read.
She stressed that border conflicts make the security situation there "precarious."
"Khartoum has dropped bombs in civilian populated areas clearly within South Sudan," she said in a statement. "Such acts of aggression must end immediately."
The International Criminal Court has pressed for arrest warrants for Sudan's leaders. The United Nations' World Food Program, meanwhile, said conflict and food insecurity spelled disaster for South Sudan.
"We are deeply concerned about the escalating conflict along the border, which is disrupting trade, increasing food prices and causing a major humanitarian emergency," said Rice.