29 November 2012

Sudan: Conflict With Sudanese Rebels Hampers Security Arrangements - U.S. Envoy

Photo: Pete Souza
President Barack Obama talks with Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman, the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan, during the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office, June 16, 2011.

Khartoum — U.S. special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan said that the conflict between Khartoum and Sudanese rebels hampers the improvement of bilateral relations between the two countries and to implementation of security arrangements.

"Without stopping the conflict there it's hard to get that full trust and understanding and security along the border that both countries want," Princeton Lyman said before to leave Sudan after talks in Khartoum.

Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan signed a cooperation agreement including a security agreement including to stop support to rebel groups from both sides, and to work together to secure their common border from rebel attacks.

After a first meeting of the joint security committee in Juba earlier this month, the two parties failed to enforce this agreement and Khartoum renewed its accusations against Juba of continuing to support the rebel groups. Nonetheless, a second meeting is announced for the next week in Khartoum.

Lyman in a conference call with the press form the US embassy in Khartoum said that the implementation of the security arrangements should take place before the resumption of oil exportation or the other protocols. He believes that this move would allow to enhance trust between the countries.

He explained their failure to implement the 27th September agreement because "they haven't reached that degree of confidence and trust which is essential in carrying out this type of agreement."

South Sudan's Ambassador to the United Nations held Wednesday similar statements before the Security Council when he underlined that the continuation of South Kordofan and Blue Nile conflict makes difficult the implementation of the security arrangements.

President Salva Kiir on Monday said Khartoum asks to disarm the rebel SPLM-North and adding it is an "impossible mission" they cannot achieve as South Sudan is now an independent state.

The mediation was supposed to organise a meeting between Sudanese government and SPLM-N this month, but the African Union did not explain the reasons of the delay. Thabo Mbeki, AU chief mediator, was also expected to brief the UN Security Council on Wednesday but he declined his participation.

Lyman said a referendum should be held in Abyei and supported the proposal of the African Union panel on this respect.

He further said that the border between the two countries cannot be demarcated unless violence is curbed.

On the bilateral relations between Washington and Khartoum, the American envoy said that the conflicts in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur should be resolved before to end sanctions of remove Sudan from the list of countries supporting terror.

The American diplomat is expected to visit Juba soon.

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InFocus

U.S. Loses Successful Envoy to Khartoum, Juba

President Barack Obama talks with Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman, the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan, during the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office, June 16, 2011.

In a long series of envoys, Princeton Lyman was the most successful American diplomat to Sudan and South Sudan since former Senator John Danforth, writes Aly Verjee for African ... Read more »