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“We think those forces should be withdrawn," said Lyman.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

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid