JUBA, April 12 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan said on Thursday that the move by the United States to finally nominate a new envoy to the country will help improve relations between the two countries.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Mawien Makol said the decision by the Washington to finally nominate Thomas Hushek to fill the void as ambassador in Juba will improve ties between the two countries which recently deteriorated after the United States imposed a raft of sanctions on high ranking officials and companies.
"Juba and the U.S. have diplomatic relations. So we are happy that the U.S. is finally appointing someone to head its mission here. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will welcome him and work with him," Makol told Xinhua in Juba.
This came after U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a confirmation hearing on Wednesday for Hushek who is President Donald Trump's nominee to be U.S. ambassador to South Sudan.
The previous U.S. Ambassador Mary Catherine Phee assumed the position of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of International Organizations on Dec. 12, 2017.
Phee was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan from 2015 to 2017.
Makol said that despite the unease relations between the countries over sanctions imposed on some officials in 2017 and 15 oil companies this year, South Sudan remains unwaveringly committed to working with the United States.
"These (sanctions) are some of the ups and down that we are going through and we hope that we shall understand ourselves and be able to push forward," he said.
South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir sacked his former deputy Riek Machar, leading to fighting between mostly Dinka ethnic soldiers loyal to Kiir and ethnic Nuer soldiers loyal to Machar.
The violence has killed tens of thousands leaving four million people living as refugees in neighboring countries.
The efforts by regional leaders to revive the 2015 peace agreement shattered in the wake of renewed violence in July 2016 are yet to bear fruit as they have been indefinitely suspended after the warring parties failed to make headway.