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
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid