News / Africa

UN Security Council Visits South Sudan; Darfur

Southern Sudanese men hold a pro-independence poster as they wait for the arrival of envoys from the UN Security Council in Juba, 6 Oct 2010
Southern Sudanese men hold a pro-independence poster as they wait for the arrival of envoys from the UN Security Council in Juba, 6 Oct 2010
Margaret Besheer

The U.N. Security Council has arrived in the Darfur region of Sudan as part of a tour through the country before its scheduled January referendum. Sudan's army says it attacked rebel positions in the Darfur region just hours before the U.N. delegation arrived.  A rebel spokesman confirmed the attack but denied the rebels had been ousted from their positions.  Before arriving in Darfur, the council met in Juba with South Sudan President Salva Kiir, who assured them the south would not withdraw unilaterally from the north if the referendum is delayed. 

The council did not receive a warm welcome in Darfur where hundreds of pro-government demonstrators and supporters of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir chanted their support for the president.

Mr. Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for atrocities committed in this part of the Sudan.

The council has come to Darfur to express its concern about the continued and increased violence.  They also hope to show their support for the Darfur peace process and urge all parties to join those talks.

The 15-member Security Council will have briefings at the U.N.-African Union Mission, known as UNAMID, which has more than 22,000 peacekeepers operating in Darfur.  The council will also visit a camp for internally displaced persons, as well as meet with local officials.

But before arriving in Darfur, the council spent the night in Juba, the capital of south Sudan, where they met President Salva Kiir and many of his ministers.  British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told reporters the discussions lasted about two hours and were very "frank and candid."

"He set out quite a powerful case for why the referendum had to go ahead on time and the fact that he felt that referendum would end up in a vote for separation; that he was not going to be declaring UDI [unilateral declaration of independence], but that if there was a delay - a politically induced delay by the NCP [National Congress Party] for the referendum, then it might be necessary for the south to hold their own referendum - go ahead with the referendum in any event," Grant said.

The council has carried with it a united message the referendum must be free, fair and credible, and that the outcome must be respected.

On January 9, in addition to the north-south referendum there is also a vote scheduled for the people of the oil-rich Abyei region to decide whether they will join the north or south.  But talks in Addis Ababa to sort out pre-referendum issues are continuing.  

The United States is pressing both sides to reach an agreement that would allow Abyei to decide whether it wants to join the north or south.  

Before leaving south Sudan, the council visited a training center for police at Rejaf.  The government hopes to train thousands of men and women to be police officers in time for the referendum, but also to provide security for what could be their new state.

On Friday the Security Council heads to Khartoum where they will meet with Foreign Minister Ali al-Kirti and other officials.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid