News / Africa

US Sudan Envoy Says Khartoum’s Belligerence Threatens North-South Talks

Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Karti (R) speaks during a joint news conference with newly appointed U.S. special envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman, in Khartoum, April 6, 2011
Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Karti (R) speaks during a joint news conference with newly appointed U.S. special envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman, in Khartoum, April 6, 2011

The U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan says Khartoum’s belligerent actions are threatening delicate negotiations on border issues and revenue sharing ahead of the South’s independence next month. Our correspondent in Addis Ababa reports hopes are rising for an easing of tension as diplomatic activity intensifies over the next few days.

Tens of thousands of people are reported fleeing heavy fighting along the undefined border between north and south Sudan. Southern officials Friday accused Khartoum’s military of bombing a border village, and the United Nations told of rapidly deteriorating conditions in South Kordofan State, with civilians trapped between warring factions.

A U.N. spokesman estimates 146,000 people have been forced to flee since Sudanese army troops captured the main town in the disputed Abyei region last month.

An African Union (AU) High Level Panel led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki is shuttling between capitals in an attempt to ease rising tensions. He met Thursday in Khartoum with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and flew Friday to Juba for talks with Southern leader Salva Kiir.

U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Princeton Lyman says the military takeover of Abyei has enormously complicated negotiations on sensitive issues hanging over the South’s July 9th independence. He told VOA much of the talk is focused on how to reverse the Abyei takeover so talks on other issues could resume.

"The government in Khartoum seems to have taken a more belligerent and proactive military approach to the situation, perhaps thinking this gives them some advantages in the negotiations, first by the military takeover in Abyei and then by sending forces into South Kordofan," said Lyman. "I’m not sure why the government chose in the last few weeks to turn to this kind of a policy, but it is very, very threatening to the whole negotiating process."

Diplomatic efforts are due to be ratcheted up a notch in coming days. AU Panel chief Mbeki is reported to be returning to Addis Ababa, which has served as a neutral site for north-south negotiations.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is also due in the Ethiopian capital Monday, and diplomats involved in the arrangements say she would meet Mr. Mbeki and senior officials, possibly including Sudanese Vice-President Osman Ali Taha and Southern Sudanese leader Salva Kiir.

Special Envoy Lyman acknowledged Secretary Clinton’s deep concern about events in Sudan and confirmed she would hold talks on the subject. But he said details of her schedule have not been finalized.

"I can’t predict what will be the outcome," he said. "Her visit is very important as are other discussions going on. We’ll have to see how it works out in the next few days."

Despite the current flare up, the veteran U.S. diplomat expressed cautious optimism that northern and southern leaders would reach a peaceful settlement of their disputes before the July 9th independence day. He said, “of course they can work it out, because both sides realize that if they really go back to war, they’re going to suffer greatly”.

The south’s independence is one of the final planks of a 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended decades of civil war between the Arab-dominated north and the ethnically black south.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid