News / Africa

No Agreements In First Week of Sudan Talks

Southern Sudanese people arrive in a barge at the port in Juba, August 31, 2012.Southern Sudanese people arrive in a barge at the port in Juba, August 31, 2012.
x
Southern Sudanese people arrive in a barge at the port in Juba, August 31, 2012.
Southern Sudanese people arrive in a barge at the port in Juba, August 31, 2012.
ADDIS ABABA — The first week of renewed negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan ended without any new agreement. Border issues remain the main cause of disagreements between the two countries.
 
The first week of negotiations focused mainly on the border and related oil and security issues.  But there hasn’t been a breakthrough yet.
 
The two countries are facing a United Nations deadline of September 22 to reach agreements on those issues and others or face possible sanctions.  The talks resumed this week in Ethiopia’s capital after an agreement on transporting southern oil through the north was reached last month.
 
Mutrif Siddiq is a panel member for the Sudanese delegation and is in line to be the future ambassador to South Sudan.  He says that the mood during the negotiations has become much better over the months. “I think the mood has changed a lot.  It's not yet 100 percent perfect, we had maybe a sort of distance between the two sides but gradually we managed to cross this area.  Things are much better than it used to be," he added. "Three, four, five months ago because we realize that this has been a dragging process and it should come to a successful end.”
 
Michael Makuei is the South Sudanese minister for parliamentary affairs and the chairperson of the border committee.  He says that if the countries can reach an agreement on the border, the other outstanding issues can be solved quickly. “If the map is accepted, security issues will be resolved.  If for the oil, we are almost agreeing it is in the final stage.  On the issue of the economics issues, the same, we are almost ending.  For the nationality and other related issues, there was already initial agreement and that agreement need only to be put in its final form," he said. "So that it is signed by the summit when they come and see.”

The summit Makuei speaks of is a planned meeting between President Salva Kiir of South Sudan and President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, who are expected to meet one week before the deadline to formalize the agreements.  

However, agreement on the issues has proven elusive.  The U.S. representative to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said Thursday that she feels there is a lack of urgency in the talks that could eventually lead to outright conflict.  

Makuei says any holdup comes from Sudan and the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel that is mediating the talks. “That was unfair actually to say that there was lack of urgency on both sides, because the issues which are in question now have nothing to do with us," he stated. "But the issues have partly to do with the AU-HIP itself and the other part, the government of Sudan. For us in the republic of South Sudan we are not delaying in anyway and have come to agree and to conclude this agreement.”

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011 under a 2005 agreement that ended the long Sudanese civil war.  Disputes over oil and the contested Abyei region led to clashes along the border earlier this year, raising concerns if the countries could slip back into war again.

Military clashes between the two Sudans could have serious consequences for the region, says political science lecturer Dirbdil Assefa of Addis Ababa University

“When it comes to the Horn of Africa where there are lot of issues that are very much interconnected, it can range from different ethnic groups that are living in different parts of the country, and regimes having different kind of affiliation and interest to different regions.  And also problems related to poverty and others," said Assefa. "All these issues will be coming and definitely it will cause and bring its impacts on the region.”
 
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has repeatedly urged the two Sudans to resolve their differences at the negotiating table.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Arkansas, North Carolina have approved similar laws that gay-marriage opponents say help maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
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 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 Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
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 Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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 Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
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