News / Africa

US Envoy Optimistic of Peaceful Sudan Separation

Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Karti (R) speaks during a joint news conference with newly appointed U.S. special envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman, in Khartoum, April 6, 2011
Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Karti (R) speaks during a joint news conference with newly appointed U.S. special envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman, in Khartoum, April 6, 2011

U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Princeton Lyman says he is “reasonably optimistic” that Sudanese parties can amicably resolve their remaining issues before south Sudan becomes independent on July 9. Senior officials of the north and south's ruling parties are to resume talks on the separation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Thursday.

Lyman, a veteran U.S. diplomat called back to service for the Sudan post, is not minimizing the issues still to be resolved by July 9.

But he said that given the importance to both sides of maintaining trade and energy cooperation when the south becomes independent, he is “reasonably optimistic” they will resolve the remaining problems.

“For some of these issues, it’s critical that they reach a decision by July 9th because on July 10th, they will want the oil to function, they will want people to continue to be able to trade on the borders, etcetera," said Lyman. "I don’t think these negotiations are going to be easy. But I think there’s a great deal of impetus to reaching the critical decisions that enable the two sides to go forward.”

High-level delegations from the Khartoum government and the southern Sudanese capital Juba reconvene Thursday in Addis Ababa to try to tackle remaining issues including oil-sharing, post-separation currency policy, and dividing Sudan’s external debt.

The two sides still have not resolved the status of the oil-rich central Abyei region along the north-south dividing line.

But Lyman, who visited Khartoum and Juba earlier this month, expressed relief that the parties were able to step back from a potential confrontation after a military clash in Abyei May 1.

He urged them to withdraw excess forces from the disputed region under a deal mediated by the African Union and United Nations.

Lyman was joined at a State Department briefing by U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah, who made his own trip to the region with British and Norwegian officials, focusing on how the two states can be economically viable.

Shah said would-be investors in the south are encouraged by commitments by officials there to economic transparency and private enterprise. He said the north, facing a loss of oil income, will have to diversify its economy.

“They need to reinvest in agriculture, which continues to be the area of employment for 80 percent of the population. And they need to do that in ways that recognize that trade with the south, whether in the agriculture sector or other sectors, is going to be a critical part of an economic strategy, just as for the south, trade with the north will continue to be quite important for their economic viability,” said Shah.

Special envoy Lyman, who also visited Sudan’s troubled western Darfur region, said U.S. officials are “very disturbed” by recent fighting between government forces and Darfur rebels, including government airstrikes.

He expressed frustration with the stance of both sides at Darfur peace talks in Doha.

In response to questions, Lyman said progress on a U.S.-proposed “road map” to full normalization of U.S. relations with Khartoum is not frozen because of the Darfur violence. But he said events there are, in his words, “terribly relevant” to road map implementation.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid