News

    US Wants Sudan to Open Humanitarian Access to Area

    Displaced women gather to collect water from a water hole near Jamam refugee camp in South Sudan's Upper Nile State, March 10, 2012.
    Displaced women gather to collect water from a water hole near Jamam refugee camp in South Sudan's Upper Nile State, March 10, 2012.

    Civilians in Sudan's Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states are in need of food aid and are fleeing fighting between local militia and government troops. U.S. officials are working with Sudan's government to open humanitarian access to the region.

    The U.S. special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Princeton Lyman, said there are ways to get food aid into Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile without Khartoum's consent, but they are inadequate to the need.

    So the international community and African Union are pressing Khartoum to approve a plan for humanitarian corridors as more than 140,000 new refugees have left for South Sudan, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

    U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, Catherine Wiesner, just returned from South Sudan.

    “The area where the refugees are arriving is remote. It is scarcely populated and much of it rests in a flood zone that becomes inaccessible by road for much of the six-month rainy season," said Wiesner. "The rains are set to begin in a month or so, and so in this difficult context the agencies are really in a race against time to get all the supplies in place.”

    Fighting complicates aid access

    Humanitarian access is complicated by fighting in the regions near the border with the newly-independent South Sudan. Many people in those areas joined southern rebels in their fight for independence from Khartoum, but those provinces are north of the dividing line and remain part of the Republic of Sudan.

    Ambassador Lyman said that is part of ongoing talks at the African Union.

    “There are accusations from Khartoum that South Sudan is supporting the rebels in Southern Kordofan. There are also charges from Juba that the government in Khartoum supports militias destabilizing South Sudan. It is important that the two sides sit down and discuss the issues candidly between them because neither side should be trying to destabilize the other,” said Lyman.

    Lyman said it is a mistake to think that troubles in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile are only because of possible support from the south.  He said there are internal political and security issues left over from Sudan's 2005 comprehensive peace agreement, which ended the country's civil war. He said Khartoum must address those issues with the people of those regions to end the conflict there.

    Oil dispute threatens regional peace

    Fueling mistrust between north and south is a standoff over the distribution of considerable oil wealth. South Sudan shut down production after refusing to pay what it said were excessive transit fees through northern pipelines.

    Lyman said talks are continuing over who pays how much compensation to Khartoum for its loss of southern oil fields, but that dispute is linked with cross-border violence.

    “It is hard to see the full implementation of an oil agreement if the two sides are fighting at the border, or if there is continued unrest in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile that spills over between the two countries,” said Lyman.

    Lyman says he believes Sudan and South Sudan understand the importance of avoiding any attacks on oil facilities, which he said could lead to a broader conflict.

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    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 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 Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    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.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.