Entries in South Sudan (11)


Sudan and South Sudan Strike Deal on Oil Fees

SIMON MAINA/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration Saturday lauded an oil revenue deal between Sudan and South Sudan. The two former civil war foes came to an agreement Friday on fees for landlocked South Sudan to export its oil through Sudan's pipeline.  

The deadline set by the U.N. Security Council for the two neighboring countries to strike a deal passed on Thursday, The Los Angeles Times reports.  Both nations faced sanctions if they failed to find a resolution.

On Saturday as he celebrated his 51st birthday at Camp David, President Obama congratulated the two countries in a written statement for finding compromise on the issue and applauded the international community for encouraging efforts to reach a resolution.

"This agreement opens the door to a future of greater prosperity for the people of both countries," the president said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also welcomed the agreement while traveling through Kenya, saying that the deal "reflects leadership and a new spirit of compromise on both sides."

Secretary Clinton said the deal was particularly important to "establishing strong democratic institutions" in South Sudan, which gained its independence in July 2011.

"South Sudan's leaders led by President Salva Kirr have really risen to the occasion for which they deserve a great deal of credit," Clinton said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Condemns Oil Well Bombings in South Sudan

File photo. Hemera/Thinkstock(KHARTOUM, Sudan) -- The United States on Thursday condemned bomb attacks in South Sudan.

While Sudan officials denied any involvement in the bombing of two oil wells in the newly created state, South Sudan officials say Sudanese warplanes bombed an area in Unity State near the countries’ shared border, reports Voice of America. The attack is the latest in escalating tensions between the two states over the southern country’s oil-rich resources.

The U.S. State Department called for an end to the attacks.

“We now have aerial bombardment. We have a considerable escalation of tensions. And we wanted to give a message to both sides,” said State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


UN Welcomes South Sudan as Newest Member

Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, Sudan's United Nations Ambassador, speaks before the UN General Assembly after the body voted to admit the newly formed nation of South Sudan to the UN on July 14, 2011 at UN headquarters in New York. STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The United Nations General Assembly, following up on the unanimous recommendation of the Security Council, has voted to make South Sudan its 193rd and newest member.

The oil rich nation has seen an uptick in violence this year, forcing the UN to establish two peacekeeping missions within the past month.

South Sudan is the first new UN member since Montenegro in 2006.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


State Department Issues Travel Warning for South Sudan

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- A few days after becoming a new nation, the Republic of South Sudan has been placed on the U.S. travel warning list.

The State Department issued a warning on Tuesday recommending that travellers avoid areas around the border of Sudan and South Sudan due to increased violence.  With military buildup on both sides of the border, clashes have occurred between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and forces loyal to the government of Sudan. Tensions remain between the two sides, the biggest contention being the presence of about 80 percent of oil reserves in South Sudan which are largely refined in the North.

"In addition to the fighting in the border region, there are at least seven different rebel militia forces that frequently engage in violent clashes with SPLA forces in various areas of South Sudan; these clashes can flare up with little warning," read the warning.

The U.S. and the international community officially recognized the new country that separated from Sudan and declared its independence on July 9. Despite having an embassy in the city of Juba, the U.S. said the new government is unable to provide security or prevent violent crime, therefore the U.S. has  placed restrictions on embassy personnel including riding in armored vehicles and a curfew from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

The department further warned travelers and humanitarian workers in South Sudan to exercise extreme caution when travelling in the area.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


South Sudan: Amid Violence, a New Nation Is Born

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images(KHARTOUM) -- The Republic of South Sudan is entering the world as its 193rd nation with an overjoyed population that views this moment of freedom as decades in the making.

Officials from all over the globe are taking part in the celebrations Saturday. Even the Vatican has sent a representative. The United States has also sent a high-profile delegation led by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and Colin Powell.

South Sudan has gained its independence just six years after ending a bloody civil war with the north that killed more than two million people.

The United States has been involved in the Sudanese peace process for many years. In 2005, George Bush sent Powell, then the U.S. secretary of state, to the region to broker a comprehensive peace agreement that would end the 20-year conflict and begin the road to independence for the south. In the years since, two U.S. administrations have worked to make sure the independence referendum was held without a hitch, appointing special envoys to the region and being intimately involved in the delicate negotiations that followed.

But after the party is over, real questions remain about just how viable this new country will be. Decades of war have left the region as one of the world's poorest. Roughly the size of Texas, South Sudan has less than 100 miles of paved roads, and basic infrastructure such as electricity and water are scarce. It also has an illiteracy rate of more than 70 percent and one of the highest infant mortality rates in Africa.

Since the referendum in January, the young nation has also been dealing with thousands of returnees from the north and abroad without the resources to support them.

For all the bleak indicators, the people of South Sudan, who voted almost unanimously for independence, remain hopeful. They say that even with all of the problems, freedom from Khartoum's repressive regime now gives South Sudan the chance to determine it's own destiny. A right it hasn't had for more than 50 years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Delegation to Witness Birth of a New Country

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- On Saturday, a new country will come into being when South Sudan gains its independence, six years after its bloody civil war with Sudan ended.
That doesn’t mean, however, that they’re in the clear. A number of contentious issues remain unresolved and renewed fighting along the border in recent months illustrates just how hard it has been to get here, and how hard it will be to keep the peace.
“This is a fragile and fraught moment as well.  It cannot and must not be taken for granted,” U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice told reporters Thursday. Rice is leading a bipartisan U.S. delegation to the independence celebration, which will include former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Rice will also preside over a ribbon cutting to turn the American consulate in Juba into a full embassy.
The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement ended a bloody civil war that claimed, by some accounts, over two million lives during two decades of conflict. It called for referenda on South Sudan’s independence and on the status of Abyei, the oil-rich area on the border. Only the first one took place earlier this year, paving the way for the independence, but the Abyei vote was postponed. The complications surrounding Abyei were illustrated when Sudanese troops took control of the city earlier this year.
Also on the to-do list: the final borders of South Sudan, citizenship for its residents and how to divide the oil revenue. Rice urged both sides to decide the issues quickly.
“It’s critical that the parties cooperate on such key issues as oil and citizenship in order to avoid major economic shocks or social upheaval,” she said.
Recently, Sudanese military clashes with Southern Sudanese forces in the Southern Kordofan region have raised concerns that conflict could flare up again.
The United States has been very involved in the Sudanese peace process for many years. Colin Powell was there in 2005 when the CPA was signed and successive special envoys have worked to make sure the independence referendum was held without incident this year.
At the United Nations last October, President Obama urged both sides to stick to the path of peace.
This September, the U.S. will host a conference in Washington, D.C. to help develop private investment in South Sudan and ensure the country is ready for investment.
The United States has also held out a significant carrot to Khartoum: cooperate on the CPA and Sudan could be removed from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list, which carries its own sanctions designations.
Rice said Thursday that until all CPA issues are resolved Sudan will remain on the list.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


South Sudan Prepares for Independence, Detangles from North

Juba, Sudan (Getty Images)(JUBA, Sudan) -- With the new Republic of South Sudan due to declare independence Saturday, efforts to detangle the north and south are underway.

The army of north Sudan is reportedly demobilizing approximately 15,000 southerners from its ranks. Other agreements regarding their common border and oil revenues in the region have yet to be solidified.

The Republic of South Sudan will celebrate its independence and membership in the community of nations Saturday with celebrations in Juba and the inauguration of a first president, Salva Kiir Mayardit.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


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


South Sudan Set to Become World's Newest Country

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(JOHANNESBURG, South Africa) --  The streets of South Sudan's capital Juba were filled with people dancing with joy over the official announcement Monday that the proposed nation's independence referendum has passed, with more than 98 percent of southerners voting to secede.

In Khartoum, Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir and South Sudan President Salva Kiir were together as the official results were announced. Earlier, Bashir repeated that the Khartoum government will accept and support the results.

"Today we received these results and we accept and welcome these results because they represent the will of the southern people," Bashir said on state television.

The Obama administration also welcomed the results and congratulated both parties on a largely considered fair and peaceful vote.

"I am therefore pleased to announce the intention of the United States to formally recognize Southern Sudan as a sovereign, independent state in July 2011," President Obama said in a statement.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement that the United States would begin the process to remove Sudan from the state-sponsored terror list, a list that has resulted in the country being under strict economic sanctions for over a decade.

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

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