US urges SA to prevent Sudan crisis

2012-01-18 23:17

Pretoria - A top US envoy on Wednesday urged South Africa to use its influence to help prevent a humanitarian disaster in a violence-wracked region along the border between Sudan and the new nation of South Sudan.

Princeton Lyman, the special US envoy on Sudan, said civilians caught up in fighting in Sudan's Blue Nile and South Kordofan states are running out of food and medicine.

He said South Africa should pressure Sudan to allow in international humanitarian agencies.

"The prospect of hundreds of thousands of people dying with no access to food or medicine is something we can't accept," Lyman said in a speech on Wednesday.

"We can prevent it. There's time to do it."

Charles Nqakula, South Africa's special envoy on Sudan, told reporters later his country had received several requests similar to Lyman's, including from South Sudan, and would act to ensure "that that crisis is averted".

He did not elaborate.

US diplomacy is limited. While Lyman can talk with lower-level officials, he does not meet with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir because the president has been charged by the International Criminal Court with crimes against humanity for atrocities committed in Sudan's Darfur region.

Fighting is the problem

Sudan's ambassador to South Africa, Ali Yousif Alsharif, said on Wednesday his government might yield if Thabo Mbeki were to call for international aid groups to be able to work freely in Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

But Alsharif, who appeared alongside Lyman at a forum organized by South Africa's foreign affairs department, added: "There is no famine in these areas. There is fighting, but it is caused by the attacks by neighbouring South Sudan."

Jago Arop Yor, a South Sudanese diplomat who also took part in Wednesday's forum, denied her government was behind the violence. She blamed the fighting on Khartoum, saying it was trying to discourage others in Sudan from following South Sudan's path to independence.

Fighting between the Sudanese army and rebels who want to topple the Khartoum government started last year in Blue Nile and South Kordofan, and has raised concern about a larger north-south war erupting again.

Groups in both states, which border South Sudan, sided with the south during a lengthy civil war but remain part of the north.

South Sudan has faced a host of problems since gaining independence in July. Some 80 000 people fleeing the fighting in Blue Nile and South Kordofan have sought refuge in impoverished and underdeveloped South Sudan.

South Sudan's Jonglei state has seen deadly ethnic violence. And tensions have risen between Sudan and South Sudan over sharing oil.

Speaking to reporters after his speech, US envoy Lyman said the bitter oil dispute and the Blue Nile and South Kordofan fighting were especially worrying. The fighting, he said, already has led to cross-border clashes between Sudan and South Sudan.

"I don't think either country wants to go back to war," Lyman said, but added that disputes could easily spill over into conflict.

  • Alex - 2012-01-18 23:29

    U.S urging South Africa to assist...hahahaha Please!

      Boer - 2012-01-19 01:38

      Ag man the current delapedated corrupt ANC regime cant run a house cleaning service properly never mind helping others.

      Dirk - 2012-01-19 06:14

      SA itself, is in a state of collapse, but it does show the "condition" of Africa

      Pierre - 2012-01-19 12:08

      Dirk and Boer, you cannot just make baseless arguments like that just because the majority of people on this forum will believe it. South Africa is stronger than it ever was under Apartheid; in terms of the economy, crime and infrastructure. And please don’t reply with some BS. The statistics are very clear. Just homicides is down by 50% since 1994. SA is in the G20 and part of the BRICS group. (Do you even know what that mean?)

      Dirk - 2012-01-19 13:04

      You must be joking! Baseless my behind. As a political scientist, I am not totally ignorant on the matter. My usual advice- write a critical essay under Political, economical and social challenges. Just be objective, leave emotion out of it , but you certainly require more info than that used to make the above comments. Look a little below the surface. SA is not going to collapse- it is already in a state of collapse over a wide area. A country does not go from functional one day to dysfunctional the next. Its a process, starting slowly and gradually gaining momentum(domino affect) We are already at the stage where momentum is being gained.

      Pierre - 2012-01-20 12:36

      Dirk there is no way you are a political bloody scientist. I don’t mean to be rude or want to prick your bubble, but if you are anyway close to an academic position I will concede that this country’s education system has gone to grounds. One who absolutely ignore all the facts and just argue in a complete irrigational way; ignoring the phenomenal economic improvement, a 50% reduction in the homicide rate, the political stability since 1994; this is not a country in state of collapse! As a “political scientist” how do you compare the instability (actually civil war) in Kwazulu-Natal before ’94 and the about complete reversal in the years after? Weapons were smuggled into that region; the so-called “third force” activity; militarised the area and created a boiling pot of violence. It was peacefully resolved in a matter of months after the ’94 election. Let me guess you will just deny it ever happened.

  • The-Azanian - 2012-01-18 23:59

    africa is going nowhere, do our statesmen have to be rocket scientists in order to realise that disaster stricken countries like sudan need help from us. totaly so dumb, no wonder usa decided to make a wake-up call.

  • Mark - 2012-01-19 00:08

    South Africa can't even keep sewerage from regularly polluting our rivers. Many of these go unreported, such as the repeated fouling of the Apies river at the Rooiwal works by Tshwane. How then, is this country going to help this basket case, Sudan, when we cant even plan, run, or maintain human-waste treatment plants. Bit of a stink, I would say.

      Dirk - 2012-01-19 06:21

      Its all over SA There were sewerage plants which were regarded as models internationally. They came from abroad to see how it is done- today, it is collapsed. The entire management was recruited and taken to Australia. Im not sure, but I think it was Randfontein?

      Pierre - 2012-01-19 12:01

      It’s a pity these so-called sewage works was not in place when Winston Churchill swam the mighty Apies River.

  • Leon - 2012-01-19 05:30

    What is stopping the US from doing its own thing, except for the fact that Sudan doesn't have oil?

      Dirk - 2012-01-19 06:16

      Sudan does have oil!!!

      Dayaan - 2012-01-19 06:19

      The newest state South Sudan has one of Africa's largest oil reserves. If the US tries its normal hanky panky then they will have to go head to head with the Chinese and your friendly Chinese will not just sit back and allow the US to do what it wants. China has been flexing its military muscle and the US is wary of the world's largest army.

      Garth - 2012-01-19 08:39

      @dayaan - Do you have to always be so ignorantly objectionable? The reasons for the USA's non-interference are plainly stated in the article, all you need is a whit of comprehension to enable you to open your other eye and read with both of them. If you, and that other socialist-anarchist, believe that China is `in it' for any thing other than imperialist world domination, then you better pull your heads out of your collective a$$es and smell something other than shiite. And China, the world's largest army? Only in cannon-fodder numbers. Airforce? Navy? Marines? Special Forces? No contest.

      Dayaan - 2012-01-19 09:06

      @Garth i was responding to the point that was made that the reason the USA is not doing anything is that Sudan has no oil which it has but they have basically sold it to the Chinese. If the US doesn't worry about the Red Dragon Army why are they beefing up there forces in Japan, South Korea and Australia. The US is hypocritical they refuse to sign off on the ICC but want to send others to the ICC refusing that any of their politicians or soldiers be sent to answer for war crimes. They refuse to speak to Al Bashir since he has been indicted by the ICC. They even coerced other nations to agree that they will not arrest any of their murdering troops or war-mongering politicians to be tried at the ICC for crimes against humanity in return the US will turn a blind eye and also give them aid.

  • GrootWitHaai - 2012-01-19 07:42

    How the heck did Mbeki's name get thrown into the mix? It sounds as if he has more pull than Zuma. Embarrassing. Isn't it ironic that the US has to give South Africa a kick up the butt to make South Africa realise that it has a part to play in all things African seeing as we are the 'superpower' of the African continent. Proactivity is not a word too well known in South Africa. How embarrassing once again.

      Deon - 2012-01-19 09:26

      Mbeki is suppose to be the peace maker in Africa, but has not done much.

  • mashamba.lucas - 2012-01-19 07:55

    Why doesnt the US help? easy, because Sudan does not have OIL...If they had oil, US was gona invade without asking anyone!!!

      Garth - 2012-01-19 08:40

      Ignorance can be rectified - stupidity is incurable. Read the bloody article without your own thoughts clouding the vacuous expanse between your ears.

      Deon - 2012-01-19 09:28

      The US has a "few" money problems and won't invade any country soon again.

      Anele - 2012-01-19 09:52

      People please read the f***n article and then comment, this has nothing to do with oil.

  • Charmaine - 2012-01-19 08:06

    Positive minute for those who believe. Our Government has done it's best thus far regardless of all the disputes of power and corruption. We should look to the positive side of the situation at this time instead of always Bring down our government. All nations have their ups and downs. Human Life is being lost here due to the Power Struggle. Humans killing Humans, it has to stop, 1012, let us pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance, we have none to help us except God Almighty. Compassion and a bit of caring and kindness towards the Families of the slain are required.

  • Mike - 2012-01-19 08:51

    Is it April 1st already? Zuma will not intervene except he gets a cash back hand like he did from Ghadaffi... and with our stunning diplomacy we have been soooooo successful just across the Limpopo River... haven't we?

  • Pierre - 2012-01-19 12:10

    SA is in the G20 and a leading country in Africa. It is not surprising that SA should be called upon to assist. We should actually take more leading roles in Africa and should be seen as doing it. Thabo Mbeki was a very strong visionary in this regard, but we must follow on from the work he did.

  • Megan - 2012-01-19 12:51

    Dear USA Incase you haven't noticed there are hundreds of thousands of people IN SOUTH AFRICA who do not have food, access to medication and basic services, who the SA government have absolutely FAILED! How on earth do you now expect them to get it right in another country? Charity starts at home!

  • pages:
  • 1