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US mediates in Abyei crisis

By Vision Reporter

Added 2nd June 2011 03:00 AM

THE United States on Wednesday called on South and North Sudan leaders to meet immediately to defuse a crisis over the disputed Abyei border region and help save the 2005 peace agreement.

THE United States on Wednesday called on South and North Sudan leaders to meet immediately to defuse a crisis over the disputed Abyei border region and help save the 2005 peace agreement.

WASHINGTON

THE United States on Wednesday called on South and North Sudan leaders to meet immediately to defuse a crisis over the disputed Abyei border region and help save the 2005 peace agreement.

Top US diplomat for Africa Johnnie Carson renewed US condemnation of the May 21 seizure of Abyei by troops serving the northern-based government of president Omar al-Bashir and repeated American calls for them to withdraw.

Carson, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs, suggested president Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism coordinator John Brennan delivered the same message to Bashir’s during talks on Wednesday in Khartoum.

He said Brennan went to Khartoum “primarily” to discuss efforts to remove Sudan’s government from the blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism blacklist, efforts which US envoy Princeton Lyman says have been jeopardised by Abyei’s seizure. Sudan was designated as a state sponsor of terror in 1993 because of its alleged links to extremist groups.

Countries on the blacklist are not eligible for American aid or for US arms purchases, and bilateral trade is restricted.

The diplomatic push comes amid fears that the crisis over Abyei, which straddles the border of northern and southern Sudan, could wreck the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended 22 years of civil war.

Abyei’s fate is the most sensitive of a raft of issues on which Khartoum and Juba, the southern region’s capital, have been struggling to reach agreement before the south’s full independence in July following a referendum in January.

“The actions being taken by the government of Sudan are blatant violations of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of January 2005,” Carson told reporters in Washington.

“And they threaten to undermine the mutual commitment of the CPA parties to avoid returning to war,” he warned.

“We call on president Bashir and first vice-president Salva Kiir to meet immediately and agree on a way forward that restores calm, upholds the CPA and recommits both sides to negotiate a political settlement on the future of Abyei.”

Khartoum on Tuesday unveiled new proposals to resolve the crisis, including a rotating administration to govern the disputed region and the northern army staying on until a referendum.

AFP


US mediates in Abyei crisis

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