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Sudan renews commitment to provide national identity cards for Ngok Dinka

March 9, 2018 (KHARTOUM) The Sudanese committee for the administration of Abyei area has expressed commitment to enable the Ngok Dinka to acquire the Sudanese national identity cards.

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Abyei residents chant “Bye Bye, Bashir”, referring to Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir, after the result of an unofficial vote was announced in the disputed border region on 31 October 2013 (Photo: AP/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin)

Ownership of Abyei, an oil-producing region contested by Sudan and South Sudan, remained contentious even after the world’s youngest nation split from Sudan in 2011. Khartoum and Juba failed to agree on who can participate on in a vote to determine the future of the region.

In February 2017, President Omer al-Bashir underscored that Abyei is a Sudanese territory, instructing national authorities to provide its residents with full administrative services including issuance of identity cards and passports.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) Thursday quoted the executive director of the committee Saloma Yahia Musa as saying they seek to meet the needs of the poor households in Abyei and ensure their eligibility to receive social security.

He pointed out to his committee’s reconstruction efforts in Abyei, saying they provide monthly cash support of 200 Sudanese pounds for every household.

Saloma stressed his committee is committed to enabling the Ngok Dinka to receive the national identity cards according to the instructions of the Sudanese presidency.

There is no joint administration between Sudan and South Sudan in Abyei, as the Ngok Dinka refuse the formation of Abyei Area Administration and the Legislative Council. Instead, they call to hold a referendum without the Sudanese pastoralist Misseriya.

Now there are two committees one for the Misseriya appointed by the Sudanese government and another for the Ngok Dinka appointed by Juba government.

The 2005 peace agreement which ended 21 years of war between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) provided for a referendum to be conducted by the people of Abyei to choose between remaining in Sudan and joining South Sudan.

The Dinka Ngok organised a unilateral referendum from 27to 29 October 2013 to say they want to join the Republic of South Sudan.

However, Khartoum, Juba, the African Union and the international community refused to recognise the outcome of the vote.