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    “We think those forces should be withdrawn," said Lyman.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

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    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