News / Africa

US Backs AU on Abyei, Seeks Solution for Both Sides

South Sudan in Focus' Washington host John Tanza and US Special Envoy for South Sudan and Sudan Donald BoothSouth Sudan in Focus' Washington host John Tanza and US Special Envoy for South Sudan and Sudan Donald Booth
x
South Sudan in Focus' Washington host John Tanza and US Special Envoy for South Sudan and Sudan Donald Booth
South Sudan in Focus' Washington host John Tanza and US Special Envoy for South Sudan and Sudan Donald Booth
The United States backs a solution for the disputed Abyei area, which is claimed by both South Sudan and Sudan, that benefits both residents with ties to the south and nomads who want to be part of Sudan, the US special envoy to South Sudan and Sudan told VOA News.

"A statement was issued after the troika meeting I attended on the 10th of September...  to resolve the final status of Abyei through a process that will allow the residents of Abyei to have self-determination but also guarantee the right of those who migrate through on a regular basis," special envoy Donald Booth, who was named to the key post by President Barack Obama in August, told South Sudan in Focus co-host John Tanza in an interview.

The 2005 peace agreement between North and South Sudan called for a referendum for the people of Abyei to decide if they want to remain part of Sudan or South Sudan. 
 
The African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) has proposed holding the referendum this month, but Khartoum has stood in the way of the vote.

Sudan fears the referendum would exclude most of the Misseriya people, migrant herders who pass through Abyei on their way to grazing land and watering holes, and who are loyal to Khartoum. It wants a negotiated political settlement for Abyei instead.

But on Monday, South Sudanese Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said the referendum was the only democratic way for the people of Abyei to decide whether they want to remain in the north or return to the south. The majority of the population in Abyei is Ngok Dinka, who are historically tied to the south.

At a meeting last month, the United States, United Kingdom and Norway, the three countries that make up the troika for South Sudan and Sudan, expressed support for the presidents of South Sudan and Sudan after they committed to ease lingering tensions between the two countries by, among other things,  improving border security and allowing people and goods to move more freely over the border.

But they also voiced concern over growing tensions in Abyei.

Booth traveled to Addis Ababa, South Sudan and Sudan for meetings with key officials around a week after starting his new job. Obama appointed Booth as special envoy for the Sudans on Aug. 28.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Peter Moszynski from: UK
October 08, 2013 12:45 PM
Is there really any chance of negotiating a solution for the Abyei issue without similarly resolving the problems of the other two disputed areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile? It doesn't seem to make much sense trying to end one small conflict whilst ignoring the much more serious fighting going on around it.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs