News / Africa

Obama Meets With New Sudan Envoy

President Barack Obama meets with Sudan Special Envoy Ambassador Princeton Lyman in the Oval Office, April 1, 2011.
President Barack Obama meets with Sudan Special Envoy Ambassador Princeton Lyman in the Oval Office, April 1, 2011.

President Barack Obama met at the White House on Friday with his new special envoy for Sudan, Princeton Lyman, amid mounting concerns about stability and security in the transition to independence for South Sudan on July 9. The president underscored his "serious concerns" about the situations in the oil-rich region of Abyei, and in Darfur.

A White House statement said President Obama told his new Sudan envoy that he has his full support in leading U.S. efforts in Sudan.

The statement said the president outlined his serious concerns over recent conflicts in Abyei "and the impact that increased bombings are having on civilians in the Darfur region."

Obama underscored his commitment to the establishment of two viable states in northern and South Sudan in July. The two men also discussed the urgency of all parties joining the new opportunities in the Doha Peace Process and of elevating the level of international engagement on Darfur.

A former U.S. ambassador to South Africa and Nigeria, Lyman was appointed by Obama this week as his envoy for Sudan. He replaced U.S. Air Force General Scott Gration in the position.

Both men worked together in the diplomatic effort that led to the referendum this past January in which people in South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for independence.

The referendum was part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that Sudan's northern government in Khartoum signed in 2005 with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement aimed at ending two decades of civil war.

Before Friday's Oval Office meeting, Lyman told reporters that "tough" negotiations are ahead before South Sudan's formally achieves its independence in July.

At the State Department on Thursday, he said issues remaining to be settled include border demarcation and the question of oil revenues. Lyman also discussed what he called a "very tense situation" in Abyei, where clashes between rival groups have left more than 100 people dead and displaced at least 20,000.

"We have to work on two fronts. We have to try and ease this immediate security problem, but I don't think we are going to get the tensions really resolved until the people in Abyei know what is going to happen to them, particularly by July. Are they going to remain in the north, are they going to move to the south? And that the Sudanese leadership needs to address," Lyman said.

The United States has deplored violence in Abyei and condemned force deployments there, calling on northern and southern Sudanese leaders to take immediate steps to prevent attacks and restore calm.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the issue Thursday at the State Department. "Deployment of forces by both sides is in violation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and undermines the goodwill from January's referendum, which was a very important foundation for the peaceful future of Sudan," she said.

In his remarks this week, Lyman also addressed the process leading to a possible decision by Obama to remove Sudan from the U.S list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Lyman said the National Congress Party government in Khartoum fulfilled a major condition for this, by holding the South Sudan referendum and accepting its results. He said he hopes the U.S. examination of remaining issues can be completed by the South Sudan independence date of July 9.

In coming days, Lyman will be in Sudan and Ethiopia working on South Sudan issues.  Another U.S. diplomat, Dane Smith, will leave next week for Doha, Qatar, to take part in negotiations about Darfur.

Lyman told reporters this week that the Doha talks had "taken on new life and have new promise," adding that the U.S. intends to undertake an intensive effort on peace efforts for that region of Sudan.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid