US envoy in Sudan peace push | News | Al Jazeera

US envoy in Sudan peace push

Scott Gration to meet with leaders from north and south to seek "durable" peace deal.

    Gration is a retired air force general with broad experience in the region [EPA]

    Gration will travel to Khartoum, the capital, as well as the Sudanese towns of Juba and Boma and to the violence-plagued western region of Darfur, the state department said.

    The discussions are timed to take place before the country's first democratic election in more than 20 years, due in February.

    'Lasting peace'

    Gration told Al Jazeera: "We hope to reach a way ahead so that we can move forward on these critical issues because the census is critical to the election and of course the referendum is that vote that will decide whether the south remains united as one country.

    In depth

     Profile: Omar al-Bashir 
     Interview: Moreno-Ocampo
     Timeline: Darfur crisis 
    Human rights lost in Darfur
     Peace deals in 'jeopardy'
     Video: Warrant hailed
     Your Views: What does the arrest warrant against al-Bashir mean for Sudan?

    "We are working right now to unify the rebel groups, to give voice to the civil society, and then to enter into the process in Doha.

    "[There] we will come together and reach a peace agreement that will be durable, that will be lasting and will allow the people to have dignity, the respect, the security, the stability and the economic prosperity that they deserve".

    The SPLM fought against northern Sudanese forces in a two-decade civil war, which was supposed to end with a 2005 peace accord that created a semi-autonomous government in the south.

    Northern and southern armies have clashed on several occasion since the 2005 agreement, most recently last year in the central oil region town of Abyei, claimed by both the north and south.

    The fighting is separate from the conflict in Darfur where United Nations officials say as many as 300,000 people have died and more than 2.7 million have been driven from their homes in nearly six years of ethnic and political violence.

    Gration, a retired air force general with broad experience in the region, was appointed by Barack Obama, the US president, in March to lead Washington's efforts in tackling the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Darfur.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    How has the international arms trade exacerbated conflict in the Middle East? People and Power investigates.

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.