News / Africa

US Urging Sudan to Open Humanitarian Access to Conflict Areas

Victims of ethnic violence in Jonglei, state, South Sudan, wait in line at the World Food Program distribution center in Pibor, South Sudan to receive emergency food rations, January12, 2012.
Victims of ethnic violence in Jonglei, state, South Sudan, wait in line at the World Food Program distribution center in Pibor, South Sudan to receive emergency food rations, January12, 2012.

The United States is urging the government of Sudan to open humanitarian access to an area of conflict where aid officials say people are running out of food.  The Obama administration is also pushing for an end to the conflict over oil revenues between Sudan and South Sudan.

The U.S. special envoy for Sudan, Princeton Lyman, says Washington is “extremely concerned” about humanitarian conditions in the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile where renewed hostilities between militants and government troops broke out last May.

With predictions of what he calls a “major humanitarian crisis” as soon as March, Ambassador Lyman says as many as a quarter-million people could be one step short of famine.

"This is very alarming to us," said Lyman.  "We have strongly urged the government of Sudan to allow international humanitarian aid - that is World Food Program, UNICEF, etcetera - to come in in all parts, across the lines of whoever is holding territory.  They have refused to do so.  They don't want international involvement in this area which they think is an internal matter and a conflict area.”

Lyman says the United States is working with African Union allies to urge Khartoum to open international access to those areas quickly.

"We are under a lot of pressure if that doesn't happen to look at other alternatives, but they all contain serious risks in doing so,” added Lyman.

In one of those alternatives, he says, U.S. officials are considering sending humanitarian assistance across the border into Sudan without the approval of the government in Khartoum.  But Lyman says no decision has been made to do that because of what he calls the “complications” that could cause.

Lyman told reporters in Washington Tuesday that he believes Khartoum is reluctant to open access to those areas because the government has “learned the lessons of Darfur” - that allowing humanitarian agencies into an area brings more attention to what else is going on there.

Lyman says the United States and African Union are also working to end a dispute between the two Sudans over oil revenue.  The government of South Sudan gained control of about 75 percent of national oil production when it split from the north last July.  Negotiations to compensate Khartoum for that loss have not yet produced an agreement.

The north imposed a $32-a-barrel surcharge on southern oil late last year.  The south this week began shutting down production, accusing the north of stealing its oil.

"This is a very bad situation and both sides could get hurt very, very badly,” Lyman said.

Lyman says an African Union panel of former heads of state from South Africa, Burundi, and Nigeria is “very close” to a proposal to resolve the dispute.

"We are very concerned that this negotiation succeed before too much damage is done to the oil sector and the infrastructure that the South feels they can stop shutting off the production and go back to full production,” Lyman added.

Lyman says Washington is also working to ease tensions between ethnic Lou Nuer and ethnic Murle in the southern state of Jonglei.  The sides have been at odds for years, but recent attacks on each other's villages have caused a undetermined number of casualties and raised alarm.

"This is a situation that demonstrates the tensions - traditional and otherwise - that exist in South Sudan that were set aside in the campaign for independence and the successful independence July 9, but are now coming to the surface, demonstrating how much the government of South Sudan must do to improve both its security sector capabilities, but also its outreach to these communities and conflict resolution and development programs here and elsewhere in South Sudan.”

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir are scheduled to discuss the dispute over oil revenue on the sidelines of this week's African Union summit in Addis Ababa.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid