Why does South Sudan matter so much to the US?

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It wasn’t so much a collective sigh of relief when President Salva Kiir finally signed the peace deal this week. It was more a sense of “let’s see” as the US issued a warning that it would “hold to account” any of the leaders who might stray from their public commitment. For the moment, the champagne is being kept on ice. After more than a year and a half of hostilities and failed peace efforts, threats of sanctions and possible war crimes charges by the US followed. President Obama has been left feeling deeply unimpressed by the South Sudanese leadership. During his recent East Africa visit there was talk of a “Plan B” if the two parties failed to sign a deal. A deadline was set and when…

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