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.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.