News / Africa

UN: Sudan at 'Critical Juncture'

The United Nations says the next 12 months in Sudan will be critical to ending the Darfur conflict and bringing a democratic transition to the country.  With national elections scheduled for April and a referendum on the determination of Southern Sudan early next year, a senior U.N. official warned Thursday it is urgent that several key issues in Darfur be resolved.  

The director of the Department of Peacekeeping's Africa Division, Dmitry Titov, told the 15-member Security Council that all Darfurians must be represented in the electoral process, real progress must be made in the Doha negotiations between the government and rebel groups, and military activities in the region must end.

He added that the most pressing political issue in Sudan and Darfur is the upcoming national election. Titov told the council that Sudan's government must take concrete steps to ensure that the vote is "free, fair and credible."

"Among measures which should have been put in place were those necessary to ensure the meaningful participation of internally displaced persons, refugees and other groups affected by the conflict," Titov said.

Titov said that very few internally displaced persons have been registered to vote in Darfur.  He added that after the elections, a major challenge will be to ensure that elected officials actually represent the interests of those who were left out of the electoral process.

Titov said the National Electoral Commission faces enormous technical challenges, including the establishment of hundreds of thousands of polling stations and the transportation of large quantities of electoral materials to remote locations.

The hybrid African Union-U.N. mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID, is ready to assist the National Electoral Commission on technical issues.  But Titov said the commission has requested limited assistance.

On the mediation front, Titov noted that work continues toward a negotiated settlement of the Darfur crisis using a three-track approach.

"First, Joint Chief Mediator [Djibril] Bassolé has worked with the belligerent parties to facilitate direct negotiation of a peace agreement," Titov said. "Second, the mediation has expanded the consultations to include Darfurian civil society.  Third, it has worked toward improvement of Chad-Sudan relations."

On the last point, the United Nations has welcomed Monday's meeting in Khartoum between Chadian President Idriss Deby and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir as well as the Accord of Normalization of Relations signed last month between the two feuding countries.  That agreement is expected to serve as the basis for increased security along their common border.  

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
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.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid