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

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.