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Sudan Tribune

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EU envoys express concern over the situation in Abyei

EU Ambassador Jean Miched Dumont (L) and France's Ambassador Emmanuelle Blatmann during their visit to Abyei with other EU envoys (Photo  EU)
EU Ambassador Jean Miched Dumont (L) and France’s Ambassador Emmanuelle Blatmann during their visit to Abyei with other EU envoys (Photo EU)

April 18, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The Ambassadors of the European Union (EU) on Wednesday have expressed concern about the situation of the people in the disputed Abyei region.

In a statement at the end of a two-day visit to the region, EU Ambassadors said the “objective of the visit was to examine the political, security, development and humanitarian situation on the ground”.

“The European diplomats held meetings with the leaders of Ngok Dinka and Misserya and Dinka Agok, representatives of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), the UN Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) and other UN agencies and NGOs” read the statement

“During their stay, the European diplomats visited Todach and Agok. They had a walk around the Amiet common market and visited projects related to health and the empowerment of women” added the statement

According to the statement, “the European diplomats agreed that there is a need for improved basic services especially in the areas of water, education, health and rule of law”.

It is noteworthy that the EU delegation included ambassadors of the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Sweden, Norway as well as the Special Envoy of Norway to Sudan and South Sudan.

Ownership of Abyei, a border region disputed by Sudan and South Sudan, remained contentious after the world’s youngest nation split from Sudan in 2011.

There is no joint administration between Sudan and South Sudan, 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.

On 27 June 2011, the Security Council, by its resolution 1990, responded to the urgent situation in Abyei by establishing the UNISFA.

UNISFA’s establishment came after Sudan’s government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) reached an agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to demilitarise Abyei and let Ethiopian troops monitor the area.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) provides that the contested territory remains part of the north until the organisation of a referendum determines its fate.

The difference over who will participate in the referendum prevents the two countries from holding the agreed referendum.

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

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

(ST)