11 December 2012

Sudan: U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan to Quit

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.

Washington — The US special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Princeton Lyman, will quit his post less than two weeks after warning that distrust between the two states was undermining crucial security and oil pacts, AFP says.

President Barack Obama made the announcement, while expressing he is "deeply grateful for Princeton's steadfast and tireless leadership", Radio Dabanga was informed on Tuesday, 11 December.

Obama also said that "the people of Sudan and South Sudan, who have suffered so much, have the opportunity to seize a brighter future because of Princeton's efforts to urge both sides to put the interests of their people first".

Princeton Lyman, who had a long diplomatic career, was the US special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan since 31 March, 2011, according to the US Department of State's website.

Sudan and South Sudan reached agreements on security and cooperation deals last September, but delayed implementing them, prompting Lyman's warnings.

After recently holding talks in Khartoum with Sudanese officials, the special envoy told reporters: "I think what happened in the process so far is that they haven't reached that degree of confidence and trust which is essential in carrying out this type of agreement".

Lyman to travel to South Sudan

The US Department of State released a press statement announcing that Lyman will serve in his position until the President names a new envoy.

It also announced that on Tuesday the special envoy will be traveling to Juba, South Sudan, for a series of high-level meetings with government officials, members of civil society, and representatives of international organizations working in the country.

According to the press release, Lyman will engage South Sudan on the resolution of outstanding issues, such as the disputed area of Abyei, and the implementation of the crucial agreements, including the creation of the safe demilitarized border zone and the resumption of oil production between the two countries.

In addition, he will underscore the United States' commitment to supporting South Sudan's economic development and growth as a full-fledged democracy that respects human rights and the rule of law.

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