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Sudanese President, Wanted for War Crimes, Plans China Visit

China has announced that Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir will visit China at the end of this month. The Sudanese leader is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges and on Thursday he canceled a planned visit to Malaysia following protests from human rights groupsForeign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei says Sudan’s President...

Southern Kordofan Fighting Disrupts Sudan Talks in Addis Ababa

Talks on the future of a divided Sudan have been disrupted by the latest escalation of hostilities in the country's Southern Kordofan state. An urgent African Union-United Nations mission is heading Thursday to Southern Kordofan in an attempt to broker a ceasefire.Former South African President and chief AU Mediator Thabo Mbeki, along with U.N....

Deal on Sudan's Abyei Region Coming Apart

A reported deal to ease tensions in Sudan's disputed Abyei region appears to be unraveling, as negotiations drag into a fourth day.VOA correspondent Peter Heinlein is at the scene of the talks in Addis Ababa.  He says that according a source involved in the talks, points which were previously settled have come unsettled, and the deal may be coming...

US President Calls on Sudan To Stop 'Campaign of Intimidation'

U.S. President Barack Obama is calling on Sudan's government to stop its "campaign of intimidation" in the country's southern border area or face international isolation.In an audio statement given to VOA Tuesday, Mr. Obama said Sudan's government must immediately cease its military actions in southern Sudan including aerial bombardments and the...

US Warns Sudan on Abyei, Southern Kordofan

The United States warned Sudan Tuesday it will not move ahead on normalizing relations with Khartoum if it pursues a military solution to its disputes with the south over the Abyei and Southern Kordofan regions. U.S. officials say violence in the two areas complicates efforts to resolve other issues in advance of South Sudan’s independence July 9...

UN Warehouses In Southern Sudan Looted

Several U.N. agencies report their warehouses in Kadugli, the capital of Southern Kordofan state in Sudan, have been looted. The agencies say insecurity is shutting off access to people trapped by the fighting and that only limited humanitarian aid is getting to them.  The United Nations reports thousands of people in Kadugli have been uprooted by...

North, South Sudan Try to Finalize Deal on Abyei

Negotiators for north and south Sudan remain in talks to finalize a reported deal on the disputed Abyei region.VOA correspondent Peter Heinlein says the presidents of north and south Sudan have left the talks in Ethiopia's capital, but that meetings with lower-level officials continue.North Sudan's army seized control of oil-rich Abyei last month...

AU: North, South Sudan Agree to Demilitarize Abyei

North and south Sudan have agreed in principle to demilitarize the disputed Abyei region and to allow an Ethiopian peacekeeping force into the area.The two sides have also tentatively agreed to withdraw all forces from the heavily militarized Abyei region before the south secedes on July 9. The agreement came after what were described as two days...

Agreement on Abyei Region Reported Near in North-South Sudan Talks

North and South Sudan are reported close to an agreement on removing all military forces from the disputed Abyei region and deploying peacekeeping troops in the tense border area. A deal is expected Monday in Addis Ababa, where Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Southern leader Salva Kiir are holding talks.Sources close to Sunday’s top-...

Clinton to Meet African Union Officials

A university professor says he expects U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to urge the African Union [AU] to be proactive in resolving conflicts on the continent at a meeting scheduled for the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, today [Monday]. “I expect that is going to be one of the central messages that Mrs. Clinton is likely to take to the...

Somali Pirates Free Kuwaiti Oil Tanker After Ransom

Somali pirates are reported to have released a Kuwaiti oil tanker held since late March.A piracy watchdog group says the pirates were paid $12 million to release the ship.The 29-member crew is said to be doing okay.The MV Zirku was captured in the Gulf of Aden while sailing to Singapore from Sudan.Somali pirates continue to terrorize shipping in...

African Leaders Discuss Bigger Free Trade Zone

African leaders have opened talks in Johannesburg on forming a 26-nation free trade bloc that would be the biggest on the continent. The proposed Grand Free Trade Area would join three existing trade blocs - the East African Community, the Southern African Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.The three blocs...

Sudan Summit, Clinton Visit Could Overlap In Addis Ababa

Diplomatic efforts are underway in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, beginning with a crucial meeting of the leaders of North and South Sudan. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due to arrive just as the summit ends.Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and South Sudan’s soon-to-be head of state Salva Kiir will hold critical talks...

Water Scarcity Root of Darfur Conflict

The conflict in Western Sudan's Darfur region erupted more than eight years ago.  It has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced an estimated two million people.  Disputes over scarce water and grazing land between black African farmers and Arab pastoralist communities triggered the war.  Lack of access to water remains one of the...

Clinton: Chad Backs Ousting Gadhafi, Helping on Sudan

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Libya's southern neighbor Chad supports efforts to drive Moammar Gadhafi from power. She met with Chad's foreign minister at a trade conference in Zambia, where they also discussed ongoing violence in southern Sudan. Clinton said Chadian President Idriss Deby's government supports Gadhafi opponents who...