News / Africa

Political Agreement Needed in Abyei Crisis, Says Sudan Ruling Party Official

A UNMIS peacekeeper patrol on APC in Abyei, Southern Sudan, March 11, 2011
A UNMIS peacekeeper patrol on APC in Abyei, Southern Sudan, March 11, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Ibrahim Ghandour, head of information and media affairs of the NCP

Peter Clottey

An official of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party [NCP] says the national armed forces will not withdraw from the disputed, oil-rich Abyei region until a political solution is reached. Northern forces seized Abyei last weekend.

Ibrahim Ghandour, head of information and media affairs of the NCP, said the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement [CPA] stipulates that Abyei should remain part of the north until a referendum determines its future.

Under the agreement, Abyei was governed by a special administrative council placed under the presidency. Its members included allies of both the north and south. But President Omar al-Bashir dismissed the council.

The CPA also provides for joint patrols only, made up of northern and southern soldiers, to police Abyei.

“The army is not to stay there but it will never withdraw unless a political agreement has been reached and guarantees have been made that the SPLA [Sudan People’s Liberation Army] will never come again to the area,” said Ghandour.

His comments came after President Omar al-Bashir said in a speech in Khartoum Tuesday that his forces will not withdraw.

Bashir also said he has given the “green light” for the northern army to respond to any possible “provocation” by the army of southern Sudan.

Members of the U.N. Security Council have demanded that northern troops leave Abyei, a demand Ghandour rejected.

“In order to institute peace, the United Nations should be neutral,” said Ghandour.

“They must look into the facts, which they know very well. It was the U.N. forces that were shot [at] at the beginning. This was not the first incident. It happened twice and it is war crime, as you know. But the U.N. never protested, never condemned. Now the Security Council is talking about withdrawal.”

Ghandour said the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement [SPLM] has repeatedly refused all proposals for a win-win settlement to resolve the dispute over Abyei, a charge officials in the south deny.

“They just want to declare Abyei as part of the south, which is unacceptable to anybody in the north.”

U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman described Khartoum’s actions in Abyei as “extremely disproportionate” and a “very serious violation” of the CPA. But Ghandour rejected the accusation, calling it “very disappointing.”

Fighting erupted in Abyei last week, when a northern army convoy accompanied by U.N. peacekeepers came under attack.

The White House accused southern Sudanese forces of attacking the convoy and deplored the incident. But it has also condemned the Sudanese government’s seizure of Abyei.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

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