US special envoy departs for meetings on Sudan
Washington: Newly-appointed US special envoy Princeton Lyman will depart on Saturday for meetings in Ethiopia and Sudan on the transition of South Sudan to independence in July, the State Department said.
Lyman was scheduled to participate in discussions in Ethiopia on security in Sudan before meeting senior Sudanese officials in Khartoum on North-South issues and on Darfur.
Following that, Lyman was to return to Ethiopia for discussions on economic arrangements between North and South Sudan.
President Barack Obama appointed Lyman, a veteran US Africa hand and former ambassador to South Africa and Nigeria, as special envoy for Sudan on Thursday.
Lyman said he would work on outstanding issues such as border demarcation, citizenship and division of oil revenue on his trip, as well as agreement on the disputed border region of Abyei.
The State Department also said Robert Loftis, the acting US coordinator for reconstruction and stabilisation in Sudan, was to depart on Monday to meet US officials in Juba and governors in southern Sudan on security and stabilisation priorities.