Entries in Omar al-Bashir (3)


Obama Releases Recording Calling for Cease-Fire in Sudan

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama released an audio recording Tuesday calling for an end to the escalation of violence in the border regions of Sudan ahead of next month's secession of South Sudan.

Over the last month, the areas of Abyei and South Kordofan have seen intense fighting between militia groups aligned with South Sudan's government and the Sudan army.

The U.N. estimates nearly 150,000 people have been displaced and places the blame squarely on Khartoum, which has been carrying out systematic bombings of villages as well as occupying the regions and burning and looting homes.  There is a fear that South Kordofan, in particular, could turn into another Darfur. 

In his audio message, Obama backed up Hillary Clinton's threats to the Bashir regime that its actions risk keeping Sudan on the state-sponsored terror list and keeping up sanctions, even after the South's secession.
"Today, I want to speak directly to Sudanese leaders," Obama said.  "You must know that if you fulfill your obligations and choose peace, the U.S. will take the steps we have pledged towards normal relations.  However, those who flout their international obligations will face more pressure and isolation and they will be held accountable for their actions."

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is under tremendous internal pressure from hardliners in his government.  Many view him as the president who lost one third of the country, and most importantly, its oil-producing region.

Already, Khartoum has seen protests and unhappiness from the general population because some of the subsidies on food and oil are being phased out in anticipation of the loss of revenue after the split.

Being inflexible on negotiating the border areas but "allowing" the South's secession to happen next month, is seen as Bashir -- who is wanted in the Hague for war crimes and genocide charges -- trying to balance the internal politics of Sudan and the demands of the international community. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sudan One Step Closer to Becoming Africa's Newest Nation

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(KHARTOUM, Sudan) -- Official results from South Sudan's vote last month are in, and one of Africa's largest and most volatile countries is one step closer to dividing into two nations.

The final results of last month's poll showed that nearly 99 percent of southerners voted for independence.

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir said he'll accept the vote peacefully.

But maintaining peace won't be easy.  More than 50 people have been killed over the last few days in border clashes, and issues of oil revenue sharing, demarcation and the status of the border region Abyei must be decided before Africa's largest country can officially become two.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sudan Independence Vote Draws Large Turnout, More Violence

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(JUBA, SUDAN) – As residents of Southern Sudan eagerly go to the polls to cast their votes for independence, violence continues to complicate what most hoped would be a peaceful process.

Residents all across the country are currently able to vote in a referendum for southern independence, which would separate the Islamic northern region of the country from the oil-rich and largely Christian south. This vote follows a nearly 20-year civil war that has claimed over two million lives. Voting has been frequent in the south, but ballots have been cast few and far between in the north, where residents are not as enthusiastic about a possible split.

Fighting continued Monday in the oil-rich province of Abyei, near the north-south border, where South Sudanese officials say 20 policemen were killed and 30 others injured by Arab militiamen. Military officials say the policemen were killed with anti-tank weaponry, indicating they are backed by the military in the north. However, Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, denies any state involvement.

In the south, pro-separation and anti-Khartoum signs are everywhere. “Bye Bye Bashir” read one banner, a sign of the long-standing animosity between the two regions which references current Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

The voting is scheduled to last through Saturday, but the results are not expected to be announced until early next month.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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