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.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora