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US Diplomat Talks Tough on Conflicts in Sudan

Princeton Lyman, U.S. special envoy for Sudan (April 2011 file photo).

The U.S. special envoy to Sudan Princeton Lyman arrived in the Sudanese capital Wednesday for talks with officials of the ruling National Congress Party, including Foreign Minister Ali Karti. Ambassador Lyman traveled to Khartoum in the wake of recent fighting in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states. Following his meetings in Khartoum, he warned authorities in the newly independent South Sudan to avoid military interference in the conflicts in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

Last week authorities in South Sudan denied any involvement in the conflict. However, Khartoum maintains it has evidence that Juba is providing aid to the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) northern sector in Blue Nile state.

Lyman urged the SPLM-northern sector and Khartoum to give unhindered access to humanitarian organizations to help the thousands of civilians displaced by the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. He also warned both sides that if they allow the crisis to escalate it could spread to the rest of Sudan.

Lyman says the recent fighting in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile is making it difficult for Washington to normalize relations with Khartoum.

Lyman is expected to travel to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to prepare for post secession talks on the outstanding issues between Khartoum and Juba, which include border demarcation and citizenship.

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    John Tanza

    John Tanza works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is the managing editor and host of the  South Sudan In Focus radio program.
    Before joining VOA, John worked in Nairobi, Kenya where he established the first independent radio station (Sudan Radio Service) for the people of Sudan. He has covered several civil wars both in Sudan and South Sudan and has been engaged in the production of civic education materials for creating awareness about post conflict issues facing Sudanese and South Sudanese. John has interviewed South Sudan President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar, Vice President Wani Igga, leader of Sudan’s Umma Party Sadiq Al Mahdi in addition to other senior United Nations and U.S government officials in South Sudan and Washington. His travels have taken him across to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Egypt, Ethiopia, Syria, DRC Congo and parts East Africa where he reported on the South Sudanese diaspora and the challenges facing them.
    A South Sudanese national, John enjoys listening to music from all over the world, reads academic books, watches documentaries and listens to various radio stations on the internet.  You can follow John on Twitter at @Abusukon