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

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
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 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 With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
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 Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic 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.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

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