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.
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid