News

    US: Sudan and South Sudan Want to Avoid 'All-Out War'

    Map of Sudan and South Sudan
    Map of Sudan and South Sudan

    The United States says Sudan and South Sudan want to find a way to avoid "all-out war," following violence across their border.  The two countries have been unable to resolve disputes over borders, oil and citizenship issues stemming from the south's independence last July.

    After talks with officials from both governments, U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman says the two sides realize how close they are to a resumption of full-scale war, and how costly that would be.

    "In the discussions I have had in both Khartoum and Juba, I can say with confidence that virtually everyone I have talked to has said, 'Look, we don't want to go to all-out war with the other.  We need to find a way out,'" said Lyman.

    But Lyman says there remain serious disagreements about what is needed to end the conflict.

    "It's not going to be easy," he said. "Emotions are running very, very high.  But I think the bottom line here, the basic line is that both countries are arguing about security."

    Months of hostility over oil pipeline and port fees peaked last week when South Sudan fighters took control of the key oil town of Heglig.

    Speaking to reporters by telephone from Khartoum, Lyman says South Sudan was surprised by international condemnation of its move because officials in Juba maintain they have always claimed Heglig.  Lyman says that was not apparent in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended 21 years of fighting and led to southern independence.  

    "So people did assume, as we did, that there was at least, if not an officially-recognized-by-both-sides border, there was a border which was crossed," he said. "They don't see it that way.  But the point - and they have now acknowledged this - [is] that you don't settle disputed border areas by occupying them."

    Before withdrawing from Heglig, Lyman says South Sudan wants assurances that there will be no more attacks by Sudanese-backed militias or Sudanese bombing raids as well as the withdrawal of northern troops from the town of Abyei.

    Lyman says Khartoum's patience over the occupation of Heglig appears to be growing thin, with President Omar al-Bashir's vow on Thursday to teach the south "a lesson by force."

    Part of the instability along the border is continuing violence in the provinces of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, where many people fought alongside the south for independence from Khartoum, but remain part of Sudan.

    "Across that border, there has been support for proxies and there is spillover from the Southern Kordofan/Blue Nile wars," said Lyman. "And that is creating a series of clashes and conflicts across the border as each tries to secure its own interests as they see them along that border."

    Humanitarian officials say widespread hunger in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile is worsening.  The African Union, Arab League and United Nations have a joint proposal to allow aid shipments to the region.

    Lyman says Khartoum agrees in principle to the plan, and that he is pushing hard to overcome remaining questions about how parts of the proposal would be carried out.

    "I am also hoping that with the announcement of a humanitarian program, we will also almost by default get a cessation of hostilities in that area, and that hopefully creates a better atmosphere for peace," he said.

    Lyman says international mediators are working with both governments to return to a previously agreed on demilitarized and monitored 20-kilometer buffer zone to settle on a final border between them.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: almoros
    April 20, 2012 9:17 AM
    The unreliable UN and the world!

    by: Akol Liai Mager
    April 19, 2012 6:52 PM
    South Sudan government must dispatch its foreign Minister to New York's Un Headquarters with the Map of Sudan 1956 and those several Khartoum-created maps and would clearly explain them to the UNSC members and the rests.
    Sudan's 1956 border was not created, nor agreed by Southern Sudanese, but yet we stand by it as a binding piece of paper. Also, Hague's ruling in Abyei Case did mean the demarcation of the border between North and the South, but between Abyei and its neigbouring States.

    by: Anyangaliec
    April 19, 2012 6:22 PM
    South Sudan is very much eager to avoid an all out war, but, on the other hand,the puppets in Northern Sudan are very much willing to escalates it into an all out war by any means. And I hope the world could see that!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora