News / Africa

    No Deal in Talks on Sudan's Disputed Abyei Region

    Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha (File Photo)
    Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha (File Photo)

    The US-mediated talks between north and south Sudan on the disputed Abyei region have ended in deadlock. Frantic diplomatic efforts are on to try to salvage the 2005 peace agreement that ended Sudan's 20 year civil war.

    Sudanese Vice P resident Ali Osman Taha was reported flying from Khartoum to the southern capital, Juba Tuesday for urgent talks with Government of Southern Sudan President Salva Kir.

    The hastily-arranged meeting comes after nine days of talks in Addis Ababa on the future of the hotly contested Abyei region ended in apparent failure. As he left the Addis Ababa talks Tuesday morning, Southern People's Liberation Movement leader Pagan Amum blamed the country's ruling National Congress Party for the failure.

    "We have been here for nine days to discuss removing obstacles facing implementation of the Abyei protocol," said Amum. "These talks have failed to reach any agreement, unfortunately, despite the hard work exerted by the mediator, General Scott Gration with his team."

    A joint statement by the SPLM and the Khartoum government after Tuesday's breakdown said the talks 'did not succeed in reaching agreement on the eligibility criteria for voters' in a referendum to determine whether Abyei goes north or south in the likely event the south votes to secede in January.

    The statement said the parties "continue to commit themselves to their mutual goal of avoiding a return to conflict", and said another meeting would be held in Ethiopia later this month.

    But SPLM Secretary-General Amum told VOA that with less than 90 days remaining until a scheduled referendum on southern secession, the entire process is in danger of collapse.

    "We are left with 90 days, the time is very critical, and if the parties fail to sort out these issues, this could lead to an end of the peace process itself and the peace may unravel in the Sudan," added Amum.

    The main issue over the past few days of talks has been a U.S. proposal that would avoid the potentially disruptive referendum on Abyei's status through an advance deal on borders and citizenship issues. But southern delegates speaking privately to VOA say while the deal sounds good in principle, the details leave too much of Abyei's resources in the hands of the north.

    Part of the dispute centers on dividing the region's oil resources, but a bigger issue appears to be the citizenship of a northern-allied nomadic tribe that grazes its cattle in Abyei for part of the year.

    Diplomats close to the talks say the next round will include the three parties involved in this round, along with the African Union special envoy on Sudan, former South African president Thabo Mbeki. Mr. Mbeki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi are said to be playing important behind-the-scenes roles in trying to bring the negotiations to a satisfactory conclusion.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    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.
    Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United Statesi
    X
    July 28, 2016 2:16 AM
    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora