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

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora