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Obama’s U.S. special envoy to Sudan stepping down


December 10, 2012 (WASHINGTON) – The White House on Monday abruptly announced the departure of president Obama’s special envoy to Sudan Princeton Lyman who held the post since March 2011.

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FILE - U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Sudan Special Envoy Ambassador Princeton Lyman in the Oval Office, April 1, 2011. (Office White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Obama hailed the work done by his special envoy particularly during the transition from a united Sudan to a partitioned one in July 2011.

"For the last two years, Ambassador Princeton Lyman has served as my Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, building on a long legacy of dedicated service in the United States government. Princeton has done a tremendous job in helping to realize the promise of an independent South Sudan, and working toward the international vision of Sudan and South Sudan living side by side in peace" the U.S. president said according to a statement on White House website.

"I have valued his extraordinary service, which has been appreciated by the United States and the international community. The people of Sudan and South Sudan, who have suffered so much, have the opportunity to seize a brighter future because of Princeton’s efforts to urge both sides to put the interests of their people first. I am deeply grateful for Princeton’s steadfast and tireless leadership, and wish him and his family well" the press release read.

No reason was given for Lyman’s resignation and no replacement was announced. Obama starts his second term next month amid reports of major shuffles in his cabinet.

The outgoing envoy replaced Scott Gration who moved to become U.S. ambassador to Kenya until he later resigned.

Lyman served as ambassador to Nigeria and South Africa and was also Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs in the 90’s.

During his tenure Lyman worked to mediate between Khartoum and Juba to resolve the outstanding issues especially pertaining to borders, oil, Abyei status and insurgency near South Sudan borders. His adviser Dan Smith was focused on the Darfur conflict.

He leaves at a time when a series of deals brokered last September by the African Union faced roadblocks as Khartoum insists that security accord be concluded and implemented. The latest round of security talks in Khartoum were adjourned without any breakthrough.

Sudan insists that without a security deal the oil flow cannot be allowed to resume from the landlocked South Sudan which needs to ship its crude through northern pipelines and the Red Sea port of Port Sudan to get to international markets.

Also a proposal by AU mediation on Abyei has heightened tensions between the two countries amid fierce resistance by Khartoum to the plan which effectively excludes Arab Misseriya tribe from the referendum on the region’s future.

The U.S. has also been pressing Juba to stop its backing of Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) fighting Khartoum in the border states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan. The issue is main sticking point in the stalled security agreement between north and south Sudan.


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  • 11 December 2012 06:53, by Jalaby

    Dear President Obama,
    I believe former US envoy to Sudan Mr. Scott Gration would be a suitable replacement for Mr. Lyman, Mr. Gration is fair, honest and knows very well the dirty game of Dinka Ngok!
    He is very honest with himself, I respect him too much when he resigned because US foreign affairs enforced him to arrange a celebration in US

    repondre message

    • 11 December 2012 07:00, by Jalaby

      embassy in Kenya for gays & Lesbians and he thought that’s against his believe and principle!
      By the way Mr. president, what action are you going to take against liar president Kiir regarding the letter that he sent you apologizing about being a liar of supporting SPLA-N?
      I think you need to call for an urgent meeting with your consultants and go through that letter

      repondre message

      • 11 December 2012 07:08, by Jalaby

        line by line, studying it carefully and I’m very sure you and your consultants will take the right and proper action against that liar president!
        I can understand how you have been insulted and undignified by that letter!

        Jalaby (Abo Jalabia)

        repondre message

        • 11 December 2012 07:31, by Aaban

          The one thing that Obama can do apart from taking action against Kiir is to arrest Bashir who is running with warrant on his head,
          I would be a shame of talking about fake letters and not talking about crimes committed by you gang Al Bendairya blasphemous ja’lain criminal, you are such a coward individual who love to turn blind eyes on his own problem and talk nonsense, stope being airhead boy

          repondre message

        • 11 December 2012 15:21, by Robot

          "We’ve got to think about giving out cookies. Kids, countries—they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement." is this why Scott Gration is nice????, i doubt who this Jallaby is?.

          repondre message

          • 11 December 2012 15:27, by Robot

            “Frankly, we do not want to see the ouster of the [Sudanese] regime, nor regime change. We want to see the regime carrying out reform via constitutional democratic measures.” LYMAN.
            this was also another statement that removed Lyman from Sudan.
            Nothing to be happy Jallaby, Iran’s weapon are proliferating into Sudan. someone tough is needed from white house leave alone this wicked guys.

            repondre message

        • 11 December 2012 22:30, by Observer

          You are so funny.!! You dont seem to be aware of the true reasons why Mr Gration was replaced.
          But I am sure if you REALLY want to find the real reason you can.
          What has President Kirr’s letter got to with any of this- just another post from you to provide the rest of us with something to laugh at as Jalaby ( the blue and large font writer) shows yet again his ignorance and bias

          repondre message

  • 11 December 2012 07:30, by 4Justice

    Barrack Hussein Obama, please bring back our luciferian friend Scott Gration. Huh?

    repondre message

    • 11 December 2012 07:46, by zulu

      He aint coming cause Suzan Rice is becoming foreign minister. Your stupid NCP knows this pretty lad very well. It will be inescapable for the NCP to perilousely protract issues when the world is becoming quite tranquile. Sudan into 4 new nations, what will be the hope of the fake Arabs/?

      repondre message

  • 11 December 2012 07:49, by 4Justice

    Why Scott Gration Really Resigned

    A former State Department official with a long service record in the Africa bureau and a former ambassador told me that Gration’s tenure in Kenya was marked by constant friction with his superiors and a refusal to abide by State Department protocol and security measures. For instance, in a move that upset officials in the Department of Defense and White House, Gration complicated U.S. diplomacy to Somalia by demanding oversight of the Somalia Embassy’s actions. And because Gration insisted on using his personal computer to conduct State Department business, he set up an office in one of the few places in Embassy Nairobi authorized for an unsecured network—a bathroom. (When a staffer had a meeting with him, he or she would sit on the toilet.)

    Many of Gration’s staff opted to be transferred to the highly dangerous Iraq and Afghanistan embassies rather than continue to work for him."


    repondre message

    • 11 December 2012 23:31, by Observer

      4 Justice,
      Exactly what I told Jalaby- the reasons why he resigned are all over the internet and from official news websites.
      Maybe Jalaby needs a ’Google for Dummies" book??

      repondre message

  • 11 December 2012 08:23, by sudani

    Dear Jalaby, I am very happy with the way you betrayed your friend Scott. I think the US president will take good lesson on your coments and he will arrest the lion called Basir Umar.
    the dead Khartoum Arabs are the best one. If your heart were like your voice, Sudan would have been a better place today in the world. I wish you all the best in the our country sudan which you will never see again.

    repondre message

  • 11 December 2012 08:29, by Makunon

    The reason for resignation is not reveal. But it is simple like this, Lyman reported eyes witness weapons of mass destruction being flown to Khartoum and Obama is not taking any action.

    repondre message

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