For the past several years the world has watched as conditions in Sudan have continued to deteriorate. Despite the hopeful passing of the peace referendum decision in January, the road to independence for South Sudan has not been easy. Recent government assaults on innocent civilians have increased the humanitarian and refugee crisis throughout Sudan and the region, and destabilized the delicate balance of peace. My deepest condolences go out to the people of Sudan that have been affected by the recent violence. To those who were displaced, have lost family members or were wounded during the attacks, my thoughts are with you. In addition to the violence of the Sudanese armed forces, the Sudanese government continues to delay the implementation of aspects of the comprehensive peace agreement and has taken steps to impede its progress. We must do all we can to ensure the peaceful transition of governments and the equitable division of resources to guarantee the safety and well-being of all Sudanese people. A good demonstration of democracy is the willingness to embrace change for the overall betterment of a country and the human rights of its citizens. I believe we must assist in the implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement by urging both sides to end the violence and cease all military actions. We must continue providing U.S. assistance to promote stable governance in South Sudan, strengthening multi-lateral international engagement and preventing terrorist from having a safe haven in Sudan. I support President Obama's statement yesterday insisting that both sides must be held accountable to their international obligations and agreements. The United States must remain active and expand our diplomatic engagement in Sudan along with our United Nations partners. We must have the opportunity to play a key role in advancing a healthy democracy, economic growth, and a peaceful and prosperous future for the Sudanese people in the region. I look forward to hearing from all of the witnesses today and learning more about the current conditions in Sudan, as well as how the U.S. can promote the peaceful independence of the federal republic of Southern Sudan.
Speech taken from http://bass.house.gov/video/rep-bass-opening-statement-hearing-sudan