News / Africa

No Resolution in Sudan, South Sudan Talks

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir arrives in South Sudan's capital Juba to meet his counterpart Salva Kiir for talks on trade, borders and other outstanding issues between the former civil war foes, Oct. 22, 2013. (H. McNeish for VOA)
Sudan President Omar al-Bashir arrives in South Sudan's capital Juba to meet his counterpart Salva Kiir for talks on trade, borders and other outstanding issues between the former civil war foes, Oct. 22, 2013. (H. McNeish for VOA)
Hannah McNeish
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir have reaffirmed their commitment to peace after talks in the southern capital, Juba. The former civil war foes described Tuesday's talks as “historic” but there was no movement on disputes over borders, contested territory, trade and oil.

It was hugs, smiles and military salutes as Bashir touched down in Juba for the second time since South Sudan gained independence from the north in 2011.

After Bashir stepped off a plane carrying dozens of officials and a team of journalists, the two presidents were whisked off to talk about a raft of unrealized deals key to keeping the peace between former adversaries.

Defining borders

The contested area of Abyei straddling the largely undefined border, and the opening of crossing points sealed due to insecurity and squabbles over oil and territory were expected to top the agenda.

The two men say they discussed much more, though, delaying a news conference for over two hours.

Aside from Kiir praising his counterpart for giving food aid to victims of South Sudan floods, and announcing that the two nations would abolish the need for “diplomatic, special and official visas,” he did not outline any solutions for contested border territory.

“We are delighted to be with you, and it will go down in history that now things are changing for the better. We have witnessed one agreement being signed, and we have agreed on many things.”

Settling issues

Bashir reciprocated, adding that war was in the past and the “new history between Sudan and South Sudan” would be determined through talks aimed at settling issues.

The sides are trying to put in place a demilitarized border with crossing points for people and trade. They also seek greater financial cooperation between central banks, relief from debt and sanctions for Sudan, and finally, the settling of the Abyei dispute.

Kiir said this was “the major issue” they had discussed, as the two countries vie for control of a heart-shaped, oil-producing area. The region's people were supposed to decide their fate in a referendum, but instead have seen two invasions by Sudan in the past five years.

The two nations cannot agree on who should be eligible to vote, as the majority of Abyei’s residents are Ngok Dinka allied to the South but many Arab herdsmen from the Misseriya group inhabit the area for half the year with grazing cattle.

Ngok Dinka's referendum

The Ngok Dinka have grown so frustrated with stalled or botched agreements, they have announced they will carry out a unilateral vote next week, regardless of either Sudan or South Sudan’s support.

Kiir and Bashir said Tuesday they will form an Abyei Council and make sure that the 2 percent of future and past oil revenues from fields currently controlled by the north will be paid to the council, including arrears.

Whether these pledges of peace will make it up to the flashpoint area in time for the Misseriya crossing - and an upcoming vote that could easily spark a border confrontation - remains to be seen.

Last year, disputes over oil and contested fields sparked weeks of fighting that many feared would cause a return to all-out war.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More