News / Africa

US: Sudan Peace Deal in Jeopardy After Abyei Seizure

US Special Envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman (l) and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (file photo)
US Special Envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman (l) and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (file photo)

Multimedia

The United States says Sudan’s seizure of much of the disputed Abyei region jeopardizes the country’s north-south peace accord and complicates efforts at normalizing U.S.-Sudan relations. The U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan is making a crisis visit to the country this week.

The State Department is condemning the May 19 attack on Sudanese troops by southern forces that apparently triggered the latest crisis.

But it says the response by the Khartoum government - seizing much of the disputed Abyei region including the town of Abyei - was “extremely disproportionate” and threatens the country’s north-south peace accord, as well as the normalization of U.S. ties with Khartoum.

The status of oil-rich Abyei has been the main outstanding issue in the implementation of the country’s 2005 north-south peace process, which is due to culminate July 9th with independence for the southern Sudan.

U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman told reporters the Sudanese military move is a “very serious violation” of the country’s Comprehensive Peace Accord, known as the CPA.  He said urgent action by Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir and southern leader Salva Kiir is needed to put the process back on track.

“We think those forces should be withdrawn," said Lyman. "The civilian administration which President Bashir unilaterally dissolved should be recreated.  And we have urged that President Bashir and Vice President Kiir, who is head of the southern Sudan administration, immediately come together and calm the situation down, and restore the level of cooperation they talked about after the January 9th referendum.”

The envoy said the Abyei crisis has prompted intensive U.S. diplomacy, including calls to Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha and Salva Kiir by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Lyman said he will leave for Sudan later this week for his second visit there this month.

He said the process of fully normalizing U.S. relations with the Khartoum government, which the Obama administration has held out as a reward for CPA implementation, cannot go forward under current circumstances.

“We had started the process, as you know, of looking at how to take them off the list of state sponsors of terrorism," he said. "We have been working with the World Bank and others on the debt situation.  We have been looking at the prospect of naming a full ambassador after July 9th in Khartoum.  All of these are important steps in normalization.  They cannot be fulfilled if we do not have a successful CPA.”

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry warned that Sudan is now, in his words, “ominously close to the precipice of war.

His concerns about wider fighting are shared by Sudan expert Jon Temin of the United States Institute of Peace, who said the longer the Abyei issue remains unresolved, the greater the potential for violence.

“It is clearly a significant setback," he said. "And it comes just a few weeks before southern Sudanese secession is scheduled to happen on July 9. And it really draws into question whether the remaining weeks before that secession happens is going to be peaceful and whether the parties are going to be able to make progress on the very critical negotiations concerning how they are going to split and the details of that split and what is going to happen to Abiyeh after they split.”

Temin said there is a limit to what condemnation and prodding by the United States and others can achieve, and that the Sudanese parties have to decide if they want a resolution.  He said at the moment, it does not appear that they do.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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 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