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“We think those forces should be withdrawn," said Lyman.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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs