News / Africa

    Bashir Suggests South Sudan's Referendum Might Be Invalid

    Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir suggested Monday that pro-secession comments made by a leading southern politician might have  invalidated the south's January referendum on self determination.  Our correspondent reports from the international conference on federalism in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

    President al-Bashir was one of three African leaders attending the opening of the 5th International Conference on Federalism.  Rwanda's President Paul Kagame was there, along with the host, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

    In remarks to diplomats and dignitaries in Addis Ababa's Millennium Hall, Mr. Bashir said Sudan's ruling National Congress Party, or NCP, is prepared to peacefully accept the outcome of the January 9th southern independence referendum.  But the Sudanese leader chided southern politicians for what he called failing to live up to the terms of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, or CPA.

    Days earlier, the deputy head of the Southern People's Liberation Movement, or SPLM, Ann Itto, appeared to violate the terms of the CPA, analysts say, by stating she was in favor of secession, and that the party was too.

    Speaking in Arabic with an interpreter by his side, Mr. Bashir noted that the CPA requires all sides to make make unity an attractive option for voters.

    "In Sudan, we are still awaiting the unity of our country in accordance with the stipulations of Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which calls for the two partners of the agreement to work together to make the unity option attractive," said Bashir. "We are committed to accept the results - whether unity or secession - as long as the referendum is conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner."

    An NCP spokesman had earlier raised the question of whether the outcome could be judged free and fair in view of the SPLM leader's pro-secession comments.

    Mr. Bashir told the federalism conference that regardless of the result, the referendum must not be used as an excuse for a resumption of violence.

    "The NCP together with our partners SPLM have already gone too far in setting and coordinating our plans for a mutual and brotherly relationship between north and south, both in case of unity or secession," he said. "We have agreed to put behind our backs all issues that might lead to a resumption of hostilities.  Sustainable peace is going to be our motto in all cases."

    President Bashir's appearance at the federalism conference comes as the International Criminal Court intensifies pressure on the Sudanese leader.

    The Sudanese leader is reported to have cancelled a visit to Zambia later this week to attend another gathering of leaders.  Zambia is an ICC member and would be obligated to arrest him on warrants charging genocide and war crimes in Darfur.

    Mr. Bashir is a frequent visitor to Ethiopia, which is not a signatory to the ICC treaty and does not recognize the warrants. The Ethiopian capital is also headquarters of the African Union, which this month expressed confidence in the Sudanese leader and urged the ICC to suspend its proceedings against him.

    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    Iran Orders Social Media Sites to Store Data Inside Country

    New requirements are expected to affect the instant messaging app Telegram, which has more than 20 million users inside Iran

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora