News / Africa

US Envoy says Darfur Crisis Overshadowed South Sudan

US Special Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration attends the 14th Extra Ordinary Summit of Inter-Governmental Authority (IGAD) Heads of State and Government in Nairobi, 09 Mar  2010
US Special Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration attends the 14th Extra Ordinary Summit of Inter-Governmental Authority (IGAD) Heads of State and Government in Nairobi, 09 Mar 2010

U.S. Special Envoy Scott Gration says the peace process between North and South Sudan was "overshadowed" by the crisis in Darfur, causing the international community to shift its attention away from the 2005 Sudanese peace deal. An estimated two-million people died during the two-decade North-South civil war.

Speaking in Nairobi, U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration says the focus on North-South Sudanese peace relations suffered because of the Darfur crisis that broke out in 2003.   A final Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the southern SPLM rebels and the northern ruling NCP party was signed in January 2005.

"Frankly we were pulled off message and off focus when Darfur happened, and Darfur sort of overshadowed what was happening in terms of implementation of the CPA," said Gration.  "So things just sort of muddled along.  Last June, we pulled together a conference for supporters of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and we started at that time talks," he said.

Gration's remarks have been matched by the private, and sometimes public, views of U.N. and aid officials based in Sudan's south, who say the international community's focus on Sudan's western region of Darfur has often come at the expense of the southern Sudanese people.

In a January interview with VOA, U.N. Deputy Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan Lise Grande said South Sudan humanitarian operations received only one-fifth the funds allotted to Darfur last year.

"If you have such desperate social, economic, and humanitarian conditions, and you have so little money to address them, this is why we say what we say - that we had a fraction of the money which is going to Darfur," said Grande.

About 300,000 people are thought to have died in Darfur since 2003 during a counter-insurgency campaign in which Khartoum enlisted proxy Arab militias that have terrorized the mostly black-African population of the region.  The people of Darfur say the region has suffered from severe economic and political marginalization.

An average of 100,000 people a year, mostly Southerners, are thought to have been killed during the North-South civil war, fought over issues of religion, race, political ideologies, and oil.

The U.S. special envoy to Sudan traveled to Kenya to attend a special summit on Sudan organized by IGAD, a bloc of Horn of African nations that was instrumental in forging the original peace deal.

Speakers at the conference warned that a number of outstanding issues threaten the final implementation of the peace deal, which is to culminate in a Southern secession referendum scheduled less than one year from now.

US Envoy says Darfur Crisis Overshadowed South Sudan
US Envoy says Darfur Crisis Overshadowed South Sudan

The sides have yet to fully agree on where the North-South border lies, and no deal has been struck on revenue from Southern oil fields or on Sudan's sizable foreign debt.

Southern officials have on many occasions warned that a return to war would be imminent if they are denied their self-determination portion of the 2005 CPA.  Most expect Southerners to overwhelmingly vote for independence if given the chance.

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, as well as other top Khartoum officials, has recently stated publicly that the South's choice in the poll will be respected.

Gration said he was encouraged by the increasing involvement of Sudan's neighbors in the peace process.  He said a viable independent South will only be possible if ties in the region are strengthened.

"IGAD countries and the bordering countries on the south are going to have to increase significantly their communication and transportation links and trade with the South [Sudan]," he said.  "I think that in order for the South to be successful, it is going to have to maintain and build on the relationship it has with the North, and it is going to have to strengthen the relationship that it has with [countries to] the south," he added.

A recent national census put Darfur's population at 7.5 million and that of South Sudan's at more than 8 million, though the counting has been criticized by some as highly flawed.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid