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The congressmen added that “reports of ethnically motivated violence directed against the Murle ethnic group are particularly disturbing.”

They urged South Sudan to hold soldiers accountable for human rights abuses, remove restrictions on U.N. peacekeepers, convene peace talks with rebels in Jonglei and relocate military garrisons outside of villages.

“We hope the government of South Sudan can change course and remain committed to the ideals of peace and prosperity set forth two years ago at independence,” they said in their letter this month.

South Sudan won independence from Sudan in July 2011 after nearly 40 years of civil war between the black Africans of the south and the Arabs of Sudan.

Today, South Sudan is gripped by rebel uprisings in nine of its 10 states.

Embassy Row is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. James Morrison can be reached at or on Twitter @EmbassyRow.