News / Africa

    Sudanese Parties Agree to Demilitarize Tense Abyei Region

    North and South Sudan have agreed in principle to demilitarize the tense Abyei border region and invite Ethiopian troops to keep peace along the disputed frontier.  The talks are entering a third day, bogged down over questions of how Abyei is to be administered after the south secedes July 9.

    Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir left the Ethiopian capital late Monday after two days of difficult talks with southern Sudanese leader Salva Kiir. The talks, under the guidance of a panel led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, are to continue Tuesday with a deputy taking over for Mr. Bashir.

    Mbeki panel spokesman Barney Afako said the two sides had tentatively agreed to withdraw all forces from the heavily militarized Abyei region before the south secedes. They also agreed to accept deployment of Ethiopian peacekeeping troops.

    But Afako conceded a lot must be done to ensure a smooth transition on July 9. "In principle the two parties agreed to the demilitarization. They agreed to a role for the Ethiopian forces. What is now left is to look at the proposals that the panel has put for this period. And as you know there are a lot of details to be worked out," he said.

    A senior diplomat close to the talks says one of the big stumbling blocks is the future administration of Abyei. The north is said to be insisting on equal representation on any administrative body. Southern leaders argue a 50-50 split would not reflect the ethnic makeup of the region.

    Spokesman Afako says two days of negotiating had failed to break the impasse on the Abyei question. "The question of the administration of Abyei is still on the agenda. How do you constitute an administration that ensures that the events that have just taken place, that we’ve seen the past few weeks do not repeat themselves. I think that is an issue on which we’re going to see more representations from the parties, and they’ll be engaging each other on that point," he said.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met briefly with negotiators for both sides during a visit to Addis Ababa Monday. Her visit was cut short, however, because of a volcanic eruption in nearby Eritrea.

    In a speech at the African Union, she applauded efforts to reach a negotiated settlement on contentious issues, in keeping with the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended decades of civil war in Sudan. "South Sudan is less than one month away from becoming the world’s newest state, and the governments of Sudan and South Sudan have made laudable progress in implementing certain provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, but recent developments along the border, particularly in the Abyei region, are deeply troubling," she said.

    Speaking to reporters in Tanzania earlier in the day, Clinton welcomed Ethiopia’s offer of peacekeeping troops as part of a United Nations mission. She said the mission would be eventually strengthened beyond the initial two Ethiopian battalions. She did not elaborate.

    The secretary of state’s visit to Addis Ababa briefly overlapped with President Bashir’s, but US officials said the two did not meet. Mr. Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.