News / Africa

US Envoy Warns Hardliners in Sudan, South Sudan

President Barack Obama meets with Sudan Special Envoy Ambassador Princeton Lyman in the Oval Office, April 1, 2011.
President Barack Obama meets with Sudan Special Envoy Ambassador Princeton Lyman in the Oval Office, April 1, 2011.
John Tanza
The outgoing U.S special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan says oil is the key to the future of the two nations.

Ambassador Princeton Lyman urged Presidents Salva Kiir of South Sudan and Omar Al Bashir of Sudan to work towards a peaceful resolution of their differences in order to avoid another full-blown war.

A dispute over oil fees led to a shutdown last January of production in South Sudan. Currently the only way oil can reach international markets is through southern pipelines and production facilities. Since being appointed special envoy by President Barack Obama in March 2011, Ambassador Lyman regularly has engaged in shuttle diplomacy between Sudan and South Sudan.

The envoy said the conflict between the two countries bears a resemblance to the African National Congress’s struggle against apartheid in South Africa. He said his experience as U.S. ambassador to South Africa from1992-95, has helped him mediate the conflict between Juba and Khartoum. 

‘’There were lessons there, lessons about statesmanship on the part of both President Mandela and then President F.W. de Klerk. [There were] certain principles that they reached in the course of the negotiations at one critical point not to let spoilers get in the way,’’ he said.   

He expressed frustration over the lack of implementation of several agreements on oil fees, security and citizenship issues reached between the two countries more than three months ago.  Lyman said, ‘’even though South Sudan became independent peacefully, all the issues that go to setting a state to state relationship have been very slow in coming,’’ Lyman said. 

He accused some elements in both ruling parties, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Juba and the National Congress Party (NCP) in Khartoum, of taking what he called ‘’hardline’’ positions in  resolving post-independence issues.  He said these elements have derailed progress toward a permanent and lasting agreement.

“So, I think both sides have to think very carefully,” he said, “about how do you have a relationship with a country you don’t necessarily like very much.  But you have to have that relationship for your own security and economic benefit.”

Ambassador Lyman’s predecessor, Gen. Scott Gration, was criticized by some U.S. based advocacy groups for not taking a tough stand on Sudan because of the war in Darfur.  Lyman said the Obama Administration has not changed its policy towards Sudan.

‘’The fact is that we don’t deal directly with President Bashir because of the indictment [by the International Criminal Court]. We have many sanctions on Sudan. They are still on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, so I think many in Khartoum would say to you, ‘no, [we are] not all handling them with kid gloves,’’’ he said.

Lyman thinks political dialogue can resolve the conflicts in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states and thus end the current humanitarian crises. He urged the SPLM-North rebels and Sudan to negotiate a peaceful resolution of their conflict.

‘’That proposition [of dialogue] has been on the table. In principle, I find people on both sides [agreeing] that needs to be done, but the political will to do it is not yet there,’’ he said.

The envoy stressed that tensions between the two Sudans could be eased if the borders along Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states were demilitarized. Khartoum accuses South Sudan of supporting rebels in those states.  Juba denies the accusations.

Lyman urged Khartoum to recognize that the conflicts in Sudan are internal problems, and he said the SPLM-North must talk about their own commitment to a unified Sudan, rather than advocating the overthrow of President Bashir.

He said Washington is concerned about Sudan’s human rights record and the recent crackdown on civil society groups in Khartoum. But he added that Washington will continue to work with the two governments to achieve a peaceful settlement of the conflict between them.

The 77-year-old envoy will remain in office until President Obama appoints a new special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan.

Listen to interview with Ambassador Princeton Lyman
Listen to interview with Ambassador Princeton Lymani
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid