News / Africa

Sudan, South Sudan Peace Talks Yield Progress Slow

Secretary general of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, and Chief Negotiator of southern Sudan Pagan Amum speaks during a press conference in Nairobi Kenya, FILE April 13, 2012.Secretary general of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, and Chief Negotiator of southern Sudan Pagan Amum speaks during a press conference in Nairobi Kenya, FILE April 13, 2012.
x
Secretary general of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, and Chief Negotiator of southern Sudan Pagan Amum speaks during a press conference in Nairobi Kenya, FILE April 13, 2012.
Secretary general of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, and Chief Negotiator of southern Sudan Pagan Amum speaks during a press conference in Nairobi Kenya, FILE April 13, 2012.
Peter Heinlein
ADDIS ABABA - Peace talks between Sudan and South Sudan are said to be yielding slow progress despite reports of fresh clashes on the ground and questions about Sudan's withdrawal from the disputed Abyei region.  Tensions were high as the latest round of negotiations opened with a South Sudanese demand for sanctions against Khartoum.

The second day of African Union-mediated talks Wednesday began three hours late.  Diplomats said negotiating teams were scrambling to organize their positions.

South Sudan's chief negotiator Pagan Amum told reporters the initial discussions are limited to basic procedural issues. "We will be presenting the steps we are required to take, and they are required to take, and the steps jointly we are required to take," he explained. "This will be presented in a matrix for agreement and then agreeing on a timeline for when to implement them, with the aim of respecting the timelines as indicated in the Road Map and the Security Council resolution."

A previous round of talks broke down last month as fighting raged along the disputed border.  The chief AU mediator, former South African president Thabo Mbeki, said at the time the neighbors had descended into a state of war.

Fears of a return to war prompted the U.N. Security Council this month to approve resolution 2046.  The resolution orders the feuding neighbors to stop fighting, withdraw forces from the disputed and oil-producing Abyei region, and return to the negotiating table.

South Sudan pulled its last 700 police officers out of Abyei by last Tuesday's deadline.  As the current round of talks got underway, the United Nations certified that Khartoum had pulled its troops out, too.   But well-informed diplomatic sources say an unspecified number of Sudanese police remain in Abyei.

South Sudan's Pagan Amum says Khartoum should be hit with U.N. sanctions for multiple violations of the Security Council resolution.

"The government of Sudan did not withdraw from Abyei within the two weeks as required.  This is a violation," Amum stated. "We also asked the representative of United Nations to report this violation, and this non-compliance by the republic of Sudan, and we expect Sudan to suffer sanctions and measures from the Security Council as promised."

Despite the strong words, Amum described this week's meetings as "good" and said he is ready to continue.

Khartoum's delegation has declined to speak to reporters since the talks began.  Instead they issued a statement stressing their commitment to reach a negotiated settlement on all issues, and promising "full adherence to peace and stability."

South Sudan broke way from Khartoum last July after decades of conflict, leaving unsettled a series of bitter disputes over borders, citizenship and sharing of oil revenues.

Oil is the backbone of both countries' economies, and both have suffered since South Sudan shut down production in January, accusing Sudan of stealing oil that traveled through northern pipelines.  Sudanese authorities said the oil was taken in lieu of payment of fees it was owed by the south.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

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