- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
- Joint Chiefs chair Dempsey: Pentagon, VA too slow in merging medical systems
- Sen. Ben Cardin hits Ukraine for crackdown on Kiev protests
- Drone technology turns South, targets feral pigs to kill
- Puerto Rico caravan honoring Paul Walker ends in 6 drunken-driving arrests, 72 speeding tickets
- Better pack a lightsaber: House told space explorers could find alien life in 10 years
- Selfies gone too far? N.Y. woman snaps photo in front of suicidal man on bridge
- High times on D.C. radio: Toronto’s crack-addled Mayor Ford gets sports spot
Delegates at U.N. pressed on vote in Sudan
Fairness sought in referendums
Question of the Day
A human rights group and Darfuris who fled ethnic violence in their homeland are urging delegates from more than 30 countries, including President Obama, who are meeting Friday in New York to press the Sudanese government to ensure a free and fair referendum on the independence of southern Sudan on Jan. 9.
In a second referendum, residents of the oil-rich region of Abyei along the north-south border will decide whether they want to be a part of the south if it secedes, as is widely expected. It is the vote in Abyei that is seen as a potential flash point as the north and south tussle over oil resources.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is convening the meeting to ensure the referendums are held in a timely manner and reflect the will of the Sudanese people.
Human Rights Watch said the referendums must be free of the human rights violations that marred April's elections in which Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir handily won another term in office.
"The delegates at the Sudan meeting should do more than confirm that the referendum will happen on time," said Rona Peligal, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "This is also a prime opportunity for them to insist on better human rights conditions in Sudan."
Earlier this year, the International Criminal Court issued a second warrant for Mr. Bashir's arrest, this time charging him with three counts of genocide in the province of Darfur.
On Thursday, the African Union urged the U.N. to put war-crimes charges against Mr. Bashir on hold, saying they could endanger the referendum on southern independence.
The referendums are part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended decades of north-south conflict in which an estimated 2 million people lost their lives.
The Obama administration has offered Sudan, which is under U.S. sanctions, the prospect of improved relations if the referendums take place smoothly.
A senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to freely discuss developments before the meeting, said Mr. Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Scott Gration, U.S. special envoy to Sudan, would "reaffirm U.S. commitment to building an enduring peace in Sudan" in meetings with Sudanese officials.
The Sudanese delegation will include Second Vice President Ali Osman Taha and First Vice President Salva Kiir, president of Southern Sudan.
"The U.S. government will continue the dialogue on full implementation of the CPA and improving the security and humanitarian situation in Darfur with both Northern and Southern leaders in New York at the U.N. General Assembly meetings," the senior U.S. official said.
Human Rights Watch expressed concern about violations by security forces across Sudan and the treatment of minority groups in the country.
The two parties to the peace agreement - the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the southern ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) - should state publicly that they will not expel each other's minorities in the event of secession, Human Rights Watch said.
A group of Darfuris who were forced to flee the ethnic violence in their homeland for refuge in the West say they want the situation in Darfur to be added to the agenda of the New York meeting.
In a letter, a copy of which was sent to Mr. Obama and Mr. Ban, they said effective measures must be sought to end the suffering of Darfuris and asked for Darfur to be placed under the protection of the U.N.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
- Iran official: Sanctions 'utterly failed' to stop nuclear program
- China accuses Japan of raising tensions over new air defense zone
- Obama weak on foreign policy, national security: poll
- Economy top concern of post-Arab Spring Tunisians: poll
- Thai demonstrators storm army HQ, promise bigger protest Sunday
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
Bad science puts rich nations on the hook for trillions in climate liabilities
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- Doctors say profound new HIV treatment may prove the cure
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- EDITORIAL: Motor City meltdown
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- Last call: State Dept. bought $180,000 in liquor before shutdown
- MILLER: Obamas EPA closing smelter will not affect ammunition supply
- Obama: Growing income inequality 'defining challenge' of this generation
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Career Doctor Cassi Fields prescribes valuable advice for anyone looking to find a career, nail an interview or earn a promotion.
Headlines from Associated Press and around the Internet
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
This column will cover anything that has anything remotely to do with the game of baseball, from the game itself to mid-summer trades to offseason moves.