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

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles 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.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid