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

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs