News / Africa

Analyst: Contentious Issues Likely Will Persist as Sudan Splits

Fouad Hikmat of the International Crisis Group says Abyei will be one of those contentious issues

Multimedia

Audio
  • Butty interview with Hikmat of the International Crisis Group

James Butty

East African leaders meeting in Ethiopia have called on the international community to grant debt relief to Sudan and remove the country from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) issued its statement Monday after a meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

South Sudan's leader Salva Kiir arrives for the African Panel high-level talks between Sudan's north and south over the oil-rich Abyei region in Addis Ababa, June 12, 2011
South Sudan's leader Salva Kiir arrives for the African Panel high-level talks between Sudan's north and south over the oil-rich Abyei region in Addis Ababa, June 12, 2011

This comes as South Sudan prepares for its independence from the north Saturday. IGAD leaders expressed concern about what they called unresolved issues between the north and the south, including the disputed Abyei region.

Fouad Hikmat, Horn of Africa Project Director for the International Crisis Group, said the issues of Abyei and the call for a delay in carrying out the International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir will continue to be contentious.

“These two areas are going to remain the contentious areas giving that the other issues, the financial and physical issues, the oil issues, the two parties will be able to reach an agreement on how to share and how to resolve those issues after South Sudan becomes independent. However, the boundary, specifically Abyei, will continue to remain contentious,” he says.

Hikmat said the African Union High Level Implementation Panel headed by former South African President Thabo Mbeki will have to do more to make sure that north and south Sudan do not resort to war.  He said it would be in interest of both sides to reach a settlement.

“The feelings I have got from my close observation last year is that the National Congress Party, the majority ruling party in Khartoum, always pushes to the maximum in trying to gain a better position in the negotiations. And, I think that is what happened in the recent fighting in Kordofan and also the decision by the north to take Abyei. But, after independence, I think the two countries need to accommodate each other because the stability of each goes through the other’s capital,” Hikmat says.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (file photo)
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (file photo)

The East African leaders also called on the international community to remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism and to defer the International Criminal Court war crimes indictment of Bashir.

Hikmat said the ICC’s indictment has nothing to do with south Sudan’s independence, but rather the alleged crimes committed in Sudan’s Darfur region.

“In think the ICC has got nothing to do with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the north and the south. That has got something to do with the gross crimes committed in Darfur, and I don’t think that the international community will be able to defer the ICC indictment for one year, according to Chapter 16 based on the south separating,” Hikmat said.

He said if north Sudan is able to make the right concessions for a durable solution in Darfur, then the U.N. Security Council would be more likely to defer the ICC indictment.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid