US: Sudan Fighting Obstacle to Closer Ties

Posted September 7th, 2011 at 1:16 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States says fighting in two Sudanese border regions is hampering efforts to build closer ties with Khartoum.

The U.S. special envoy for Sudan, Princeton Lyman, says Washington wants to develop better ties with Sudan, after it allowed South Sudan to declare independence in July.

However, Lyman says recent violence in the border states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile has created an “obstacle” to improved relations.

Lyman spoke to reporters in Khartoum on Wednesday after a meeting with Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti.

The United Nations has called on Sudan to immediately end fighting in the border states where Sudanese forces are clashing with fighters seen as loyal to South Sudan.

Late Tuesday, the world body accused Sudan of preventing foreign aid groups from entering Blue Nile state, where fighting has displaced at least 50,000 people.

The United Nations has said it has reports indicating that Sudanese forces have been targeting people seen as allies of South Sudan's dominant party, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement. Khartoum has denied that claim.

Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states are still home to many people who supported the south during Sudan's long north-south civil war.