News / Africa

Sudan's Bashir Pays Historic Visit to South Sudan

  • South Sudanese President Salva Kiir (r.) hugs his Sudanese counterpart Omar al Bashir as he arrives at Juba airport on Friday, April 12, 2013. The Sudanese president was visiting South Sudan for the first time since it split from Sudan in 2011.
  • The plane carrying Sudanese President Omar al Bashir to his first visit of South Sudan taxis to a halt at Juba airport on Friday, April 12, 2013.
  • A band plays to welcome Sudanese President Omar al Bashir to South Sudan.
  • The presidents of Sudan and South Sudan stand to attention, side-by-side, as the national anthems of their countries play at Juba airport on Friday, April 12, 2013 at the start of the first visit by Sudanese President Omar al Bashir to South Sudan.
  • Sudanese President Omar al Bashir gets a red carpet welcome as he arrives at Juba airport for his first visit to South Sudan since it split from Sudan in 2011.
  • Sudanese President Omar al Bashir inspects an honor guard at Juba airport at the start of his first visit to South Sudan.
  • South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (r) welcomes his Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan al Bashir outside his presidential office in Juba on Friday, April 12, 2013.
  • Sudanese President Omar al Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir address reporters at a joint news conference at the end of Bashir's historic visit to South Sudan.

Sudan President Pays Historic Visit to South Sudan

Charlton DokiAndrew Green
Sudanese President Omar al Bashir paid a historic first visit to South Sudan Friday, fueling hopes of peace and cooperation between the two countries, after a tense year that has brought them to the brink of war over oil rights and territorial claims.

During the one-day visit, the Sudanese president met with his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir for talks focussed on the implementation of agreements the two countries signed last year, but only recently began to implement.

Kiir described the discussions as cordial, and said that the two leaders pledged to improve security along the border and allow free trade.

They also discussed how to share revenues from oil, officials said. The issue has brought the two neighbors to blows in the past and led to South Sudan, which controls most of the oil in the Sudans, halting production in January last year amid a row with Khartoum over pipeline fees.

The differences were resolved last month when an agreement was signed in Ethiopia. Production resumed days before Bashir's visit.

Although they failed to reach a definitive agreement on the disputed oil-rich region of Abyei, they agreed to continue negotiations on the key border area.

Bashir said his visit signaled his commitment to peace between the two countries, which once formed the largest country in Africa. After a long civil war ended in 2005, South Sudan voted in a referendum in 2011 to split from Sudan and become an independent nation. Bashir had not set foot in the world's newest nation until Friday.

The Sudanese leader was greeted at Juba airport with a guard of honor and red
Description: South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (R) welcomes his Sudanese counterpart Omar al Bashir outside his presidential office in Juba on Friday, April 12, 2013. (Reuters)Description: South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (R) welcomes his Sudanese counterpart Omar al Bashir outside his presidential office in Juba on Friday, April 12, 2013. (Reuters)
x
Description: South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (R) welcomes his Sudanese counterpart Omar al Bashir outside his presidential office in Juba on Friday, April 12, 2013. (Reuters)
Description: South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (R) welcomes his Sudanese counterpart Omar al Bashir outside his presidential office in Juba on Friday, April 12, 2013. (Reuters)
carpet before he and Kiir made their way to the presidential office for talks.

In the South Sudanese capital, the visit was met with mixed reactions.

James Mabor Gatkuoth, the leader of the opposition National Democratic Front Party, said the visit was an opportunity for the two countries to normalize relations and reach firm agreements on critical issues, like the contested Abyei region.

But, he added, not all South Sudanese shared his positive take on the visit of Bashir, who is wanted by the international war crimes court in The Hague for allegedly orchestrating atrocities in Darfur.

“There are mixed feelings," Gatkuoth said.

"Some people feel that, as he’s wanted in the Hague... he doesn’t deserve to be received. But a majority think the peace agreement was made by him, and they’re right to think so.” 

Biel Boutros Biel, the executive director of the South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy, dismissed Bashir’s visit as a political move and said he did not expect the visit would improve relations.

"We don’t see a reason why people should celebrate Bashir’s visit as a solution to everything. Once he goes back to Khartoum, he’s the same Bashir.

"People are still dying... and nobody’s talking about it. They’re just talking that Bashir is coming,” he said.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Elinge Paul from: Abuja Nigeria.
April 15, 2013 11:06 AM
I think this visit is very vital in a time like this in the history of Sudan. "An enemy cannot visit his enemy". The historic visit of Bashir to South Sudan is very preponderant in the peace process between the two countries. Even if Bashir has a hidden motive, it should be for the benefit of the two nations. This is a very clear example of maturity in the African leadership. Thanks.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
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