US is not supportive of a no-fly-zone in Sudan: envoy
September 12, 2011 (Sudan Tribune)
United States special envoy to Sudan, Princeton Lyman said his country has no intention to push for the imposition of a no-fly-zone in the Blue Nile or other regions where the government forces fight against rebel groups.
Rebel groups in Blue Nile, Darfur and Southern Kordofan called for a no fly zone in the three region accusing the Sudanese air force of bombing civilians in the three regions.
"I can not say that the United States or anyone else is prepared to enforce a no-fly zone in Sudan. That would take us into a confrontational situation in Sudan," said Lyman in an interview with Radio Dabanga on Monday.
He further pointed out that the US efforts are focusing on the resumption of negotiations between the Sudanese parties . "Whereas our efforts are concentrated in getting the parties back to the negotiating table and an end to the fighting and that’s where we are putting all our efforts now".
However, Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) said today it refuses any international mediation to negotiate with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) to end the armed conflict in Blue Nile.
NCP secretary of political contacts al-Haj Adam Youssef told the government sponsored media SMC that the western powers seek through these initiatives to allow the SPLM-N to reorganise its troops and be prepared for new attacks to overthrow the regime.
Lyman said they are working with the UN and the African Union to hold talks between the government and the SPLM-N over a number of issues that need to be addressed by the two parties.
He said they are "trying to get those negotiations restarted at the earliest possible time".
President Omer al-Bashir early in July rejected a framework agreement to end the fight in Southern Kordofan between the two parties on 28 June. He said the SPLM should negotiate directly with the government without any international meditation.
Speaking about Darfur, the special envoy criticized calls by rebel groups to overthrow the government as solution for the conflict.
"We do not believe that a commitment to overthrowing the regime is a sensible stand for the parties or the armed movements to take," he pinpointed. He also said he advised the rebel groups to "articulate a political platform and to engage in negotiations with the government on Darfur."
The envoy also reiterated that the Washington Forum, scheduled for 27-28 September, aims to give an opportunity to the different parties to express themselves “And that we will be able to discuss among ourselves and have a better understanding of what the points of view are and what are the obstacles to further negotiations".
Khartoum blames Washington for not removing the Sudan from the list of states sponsoring terror and maintaining the economic sanctions despite the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the independence of South Sudan.
The Sudanese officials also say that the US administration remains inert despite the obvious military and material support provided by Juba government to the SPLM-N and Darfur rebels.
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