News

    US Officials Press for Sudan-South Sudan Talks

    A policeman walks past the smouldering remains of a market in Rubkona near Bentiu in South Sudan, April 23, 2012.
    A policeman walks past the smouldering remains of a market in Rubkona near Bentiu in South Sudan, April 23, 2012.
    Michael Bowman

    The simmering conflict between Sudan and South Sudan has yet to escalate into full-scale war, but it threatens to deepen a humanitarian crisis that is already bringing hunger and misery to hundreds of thousands of people along the two countries’ border, according to U.S. officials who testified on Capitol Hill Thursday.  

    Can a devastating war be averted between Sudan and South Sudan?  That was the top question asked by members of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs.

    Republican Representative Christopher Smith:

    “As we meet here today, the two countries move ever-closer to all-out war," said Smith. "And some strategy to avert this eventuality must be devised soon, if it has not already been created.”

    The hope and optimism that prevailed last year, when South Sudan became the world’s newest country, has given way to an economically crippling oil dispute, bombing campaigns, cross-border skirmishes, and accusations and counter accusations between Juba and Khartoum.

    U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman said the situation, while dire, is not yet a full-scale war.  He stressed the need for a resumption of negotiations, saying that the two countries have much to address.  But Lyman told the committee that the task is complicated by a rebel conflict in Sudan’s southernmost regions that has displaced many civilians and cut off their access to food.

    “The situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile - there will be no security on the border until that situation is addressed," said Lyman. "It is a political problem; it is also a tremendous humanitarian problem.  And we have since last year been raising the issue of a looming humanitarian crisis in these areas.”

    Also testifying before the committee was Nancy Lindborg of the U.S. Agency for International Development, who said a bad situation could grow far worse.

    “A direct confrontation between the south and the north would absolutely further derail the ability to make progress on the humanitarian situation, whether in the South or Darfur, or elsewhere," said Lindborg. "Unfortunately, we are already seeing many [aid] donors having to shift their resources from a development agenda to a humanitarian agenda, so we are at risk of losing a lot of that progress.”

    Lindborg said the oil dispute between South Sudan, which produces the commodity, and Sudan, through which it is transported for distribution, will stunt development and harm ordinary citizens.

    “The decision to halt oil production will have critical impact on the people of South Sudan," she said. "That was 98 percent of the government revenue, and it has prompted an austerity budget that means it will be impossible for South Sudan to fund some of its core operations, including to sustain some of the really important progress that has been made in recent years in improving school attendance, access to clean water, health.”

    Special envoy Lyman said it is up to the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan to settle their differences and forge a peaceful coexistence.  That task might be aided by what he sees as an increasingly unified international community pushing the two countries to make progress at the negotiating table.

    “The U.N. Security Council is now more unified than it has been on Sudan," he said. "And with the African Union communique, the Arab League coming in along the same lines and the Security Council coming in along the same lines, we hope that will strengthen the panel’s political weight, if you will, as they bring these parties to the table.”

    Lyman said he hopes the two countries will begin to address border concerns in coming weeks, and that leaders will eventually hold a summit to address major issues like oil production.

    The African Union has threatened to impose binding rulings on Sudan and South Sudan, if the countries fail to reach agreements on their own.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: scott
    April 26, 2012 6:51 PM
    I have told before, the international comunity have to press the both side of sudan. especialy the the super power country that have interests in it. otherwise, on one will make the compromise to prevent the all - out war! we can't not count on the politician the with full mouth of baloney! do something,pls

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora