News / Africa

US Confident of Successful Referendum Vote in Southern Sudan

US Assistant Secretary of African Affairs Johnnie Carson (file photo – 27 Jul 2010)
US Assistant Secretary of African Affairs Johnnie Carson (file photo – 27 Jul 2010)

Multimedia

Audio

The Obama administration's chief Africa diplomat said Wednesday he believes the independence referendum in southern Sudan, beginning Sunday, will be peaceful and successful. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson is promising intensive U.S. support for a new southern Sudanese state if voters there choose to secede.

The Obama administration is increasingly optimistic about a peaceful independence vote, encouraged by, among other things, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's conciliatory visit to the southern capital, Juba, on Tuesday.

In a talk with reporters, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson said U.S. apprehension about the process has given way to an expectation that the crucial vote, capping a peace process that began with the 2005 north-south Comprehensive Peace Accord, will be a success.

"We believe that this event, beginning on January 9th, will in fact go off successfully, that the organization and the diplomatic efforts that have been put into this will lead to a successful referendum," Carson said. "We think that it will reflect the will of the people, that it will occur on time, peacefully and in a well-organized manner."

The United States has shunned direct contacts with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir because of his international indictment on war crimes charges in Darfur.

But Carson said U.S. officials are "extraordinarily pleased" by Mr. al-Bashir's  conciliatory visit to Juba Tuesday, during which he stressed again publicly that he will accept the outcome of the vote, and seek a peaceful and beneficial relationship with the people of the south, regardless of how they vote.

Southerners are widely expected to vote to set up their own state. In anticipation of that, Carson said the United States has in recent months quadrupled its diplomatic presence in Juba, and is prepared to do all it can to help the prospective new state succeed.

"These are substantial diplomatic investments," Carson added. "Our desire is to see the referendum move forward. And we hope that if the people of southern Sudan choose peace to vote for peace, that we will also as a country help that new nation to succeed, get on its feet and to move forward successfully, economically and politically."

Senior officials here said the United States will have a high-profile presence in Sudan for the seven-day voting period beginning Sunday.

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry and Sudan diplomatic troubleshooter Princeton Lyman are already there. They are to be joined by U.S. Sudan envoy Scott Gration, who leaves Washington late Thursday with a team of officials including the newly-named senior U.S. adviser for Darfur, Dane Smith.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid