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

Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurd President Urges World Community to Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


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