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

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Spanish Warrants Point to Russian Govt. Links to Organized Crime

    Links to several Russians, some of them reputedly close Putin associates, backed by ‘very strong evidence,’ Spanish judge says

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    Iraq needs stable, central government to push back against Islamic State, US says, but others warn that Baghdad may not have unified front any time soon

    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.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora