Home | News    Wednesday 27 October 2010

South Sudan willing to pay "ransom" to allow Abyei to join south

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October 26, 20 (JUBA) – South Sudan on Tuesday suggested that the stalled referendum vote on the future of the oil-producing area of Abyei could be scrapped in favor of a political settlement that gives the area to the south, saying it is willing to pay a “ransom” to the ruling party in north Sudan to secure such settlement.

Secretary-general of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Pagan Amum (AP)

In a media briefing held yesterday in South Sudan’s capital Juba, the secretary-general of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Pagan Amum, accused the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in north Sudan of holding talks on the contested area “hostage.”

Amum accused the Khartoum-based NCP of holding the Abyei referendum hostage without having any genuine grievances.

The SPLM would remain actively engaged in negotiations aimed at salvaging the floundering talks the area even if this means “paying ransom for Abyei which has been held hostage by the NCP”, he said.

“When this is done, the borders and map of South Sudan would change to reflect the new development,” said Amum addressing a weekly press briefing in the regional capital of Juba.

The SPLM’s move follows an announcement yesterday that the next round of north-south talks over Abyei, which was scheduled to be held in Addis Ababa on 27 October, had been postponed indefinitely.

The delayed round of talks was hoped to compensate for the failure of the previous round in breaking the deadlock over the eligibility criteria for voters in the referendum, a right contested between the indigenous southern tribe of Dinka Ngok and the Arab nomadic tribe of Misseriya, which is associated with the north.

The NCP wants the cattle-herding Misseriya to be able to vote while the SPLM insists that the right to vote should be confined to Dinka Ngok.

“Misseriya have no right to participate in the Abyei referendum. They do not have any single right whatsoever,” Amum said.

The referendum on Abyei will determine whether the contested area should remain in the north or join the south in the event of the latter’s widely expected secession from the north in another referendum scheduled to take place at the same time as that of Abyei in January 2011.

The two plebiscites represent the final phase of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the 2005 peace deal which ended decades of north-south civil war.

The top SPLM official said that his party would pay a ransom to secure the release of Abyei from NCP captivity.

“We are negotiating for its [Abyei] immediate release. As a party, we shall do what it takes to ensure that ransom is paid since NCP has taken it hostage. This is contrary to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling made in The Hague,” Amum declared.

Amum also said that the NCP was also demanding the US remove Sudan from it’s list of states who sponsor terrorism.

Disagreements over the area’s boundaries led the NCP and the SPLM to refer the issue to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) which ruled to redraw the boundaries of Abyei, ceding key oilfields to north Sudan but gave the South most of the land, including Abyei town which has huge areas of fertile land and one significant oilfield.

All reports commissioned by both CPA parties as well as the ruling of PCA have backed the position of the SPLM but NCP has been consistently reneging on these commitments, he said.

Demarcation of Abyei’s borders as defined by The Hague based court has not yet been completed.

According to the minister the SPLM has agreed only to participate in the negotiation process on the issue for the sake of peace and tranquil coexistence.

According to Amum, Abyei region belongs to the nine Dinka Ngok chiefdoms that were relocated to Kordofan in 1905 by the Anglo-Egyptian condominium.

He said that the role of the Abyei referendum provides a platform for the Dinka Ngok to decide whether to come back to their roots and be part of South Sudan or remain in the north.

Amum, who is also the Minister for Peace and CPA implementation at the Government of Southern Sudan, repeated the SPLM’s position that only those who have lived in the area since independence in 1956, without the inclusion of the Misseriya tribe, would be mandated by the law to participate in the referendum.

“These residents could be from anywhere in the country. Some may be from the north and others from the south,” he said.

Voting is scheduled to begin 9 January 2011 but preparations, especially for Abyei have been marred by delays. With around seven weeks to go the two parties have still not been able to agree even on the commission to run the referendum.

Talks that were supposed to reconvene in Ethiopia later this month, under the chairmanship of the African Union, were recently postponed to give both sides more time to prepare.

(ST)

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  • 27 October 2010 06:58, by Ahmed Chol

    Pay a ransom to who?

    Nobody in the north would claim Abeyi. They found us there and they should not claim Abeyi.

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    • 27 October 2010 07:04, by Gatwech

      Ransom?

      What kind of ransom?

      And for how long?

      And do you think that paying a ransom onces will satisfy the ever greedy north or NCP to be specific?

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      • 27 October 2010 08:44, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

        Hello Bashir,

        How much money do you want to leave Abyei?

        May you please immediately come and receive the ransom whatever prise you will mention.

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      • 28 October 2010 00:18, by John M. Atem

        What the fuck is this lunatic, degenerated and good-for -nothing thug talking about? I though Pagan Amum was smart, upto the job kind of a guy, but he has proven himself to be totally incompetent. What did he means by " ransom"?
        Folks, Pagan Amum is one of those thugs in Juba who bought expensive houses in the U.S.A
        He is of course willing to get the fuck out of the country should things get out of hand. Kiir should be really careful ; because many of his thugs whom he has surrounded himself with are disintergating.

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      • 28 October 2010 10:03, by Simon Peter Wal

        Ransom? ho no Mr.SG, Abiey is not a hostage to North or NCP that we must pay ransome to release it.Let’s just work harder to correct the historic mistake committed by Chief Deng Majok when he voluntarily accepted to live with Misseriya pulling the whole South into disiasterous conflict in which the first victim will be Abiey People,All peoples of Southern Sudan are with Abiey..No Ransomes, But there must be political compermise to solve Abiey Issue.

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    • 27 October 2010 09:30, by Anyang

      Oh! no commrade Amum, don’t give up,keep exerting the neccessary pressure on the NCP’s camp as long as their rhetoric continues especially on Abyei’s protocol with conviction that its will be win,win for entire Southern Sudanese come the day. And don’t let them temper with our hard won right, this our right and it’s long due and its doesn’t need any ransom at all,therefore i urge you to stick to you gun no matter what the status quo tell you for the cause of tranquility,freedom and equality to prevails.Otherwise, the shadow of doom,gloom,dire and diabolical future here look certain if you guys attempts to pays the so called ransom for our land.

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    • 27 October 2010 09:55, by jalabi

      Ahmed,

      According to your name, you’re southern muslim (may be Dinka nagok too), make no mistake that you will be a second class citizen in the south because those people (SPLM and their supporters) do not distinct between Islam, Arabs and terriorist, no matter you practise islam or not, those people are full of hatred and always want to revenge from both: innocent and victim!

      The mask will be removed and the real ugly face will reveal as soon as the separation occurs, you will come to know the hard truth later if you don’t know now!

      Good luck in your dream country.

      Jalabi (Abo Jalabia)

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      • 27 October 2010 12:03, by Sudani Logik

        Jalabi

        It’s you and your likes who have treated Africans and African Muslims as 2nd class citizens for decades, why do you think the Muslim region of Darfur rebelled??

        When you talk of hatred, at least have the decency of mentioning the hatred of the oppressor before talking of the hatred of their victims. African Sudanese, Southerners and African Muslims have every right to deslike your type. Even when given a chance to put things right your extremist borthers in the north are only blood thirsty for more chaos!

        Seperation may not be the best option in today’s global village but you and your likes have made it the only option with your fundamentalist backward mentality, where you care more about alcohol consumption and short skirts than you do about blatant robbery of state funds and biggotry! There’s probably more prostitution, homosexuality and alcohol consumption in the north than in the south, yet those NCP idiots insist on fake Islamisation of the whole country.

        Abeyi is not for the Messirya, and if the SPLM compromise on it, then they would have failed the great African tribes of this great African nation.

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        • 27 October 2010 17:51, by Ahmed Chol

          Jalabi(Abo Jalabia)

          I was already a second class citizen in a united Sudan, so let’s try things in a separated Sudan and see what my fate will be. I hope it will be better in the South for muslims compare to christians in the north. Nobody is going around breaking down mosques in the south but the NCP once broke down churches for christians in Khartoum. I see splitting Sudan as the only way of stopping future civil wars in the country. We will make relations between the two countries better. So it will be better here in the south and you will always be welcomed in the south to sell your salt or buy yourself a new Jalabia.

          Ahmed Chol, the future commander of Anya-nya III if the south joins the north

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    • 28 October 2010 04:11, by Young Nation

      I totally finds it strange and politically unjustified why South Sudanese are irritated by the SPLM proverbal idea of ransom in relation to Abyei case. If Abien Deng Kuol is surely held hostage by the North since the birth of CPA in 2005 as SPLM truly sees it, then it is the responsibility of SPLM to see in to it that Abyei is redeemed in any manner it returning back to it original and proper part of Sudan, South Sudan.

      It is politically wise for the people of Southern Sudan to realize that, whatever decision adopted by the SPLM in relation CPA implimentation is patriotic rather than betrayal. the fact that SPLM fought for more than two decades in order to free South Sudanese and other marginalized communities should be a convincing recipe for Southern Sudanese who are still skaptical about the politics of this genuine leading political party. The ransoming of Abyei for the sake of Abtei to be part of South Sudan is justified is must, and I repeat must continue.

      Young Nation is a student of International Relations/Political Science at The University Of Queensland, Australia

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    • 28 October 2010 04:25, by Young Nation

      I totally finds it strange and politically unjustified why South Sudanese are irritated by the SPLM proverbal idea of ransom in relation to Abyei case. If Abien Deng Kuol is surely held hostage by the North since the birth of CPA in 2005 as SPLM truly sees it, then it is the responsibility of SPLM to see in to it that Abyei is redeemed in any manner that facilitate its it return to its original and proper part of Sudan, South Sudan.

      It is politically wise for the people of Southern Sudan to realize that, whatever decision is or will be adopted by the SPLM in relation CPA implimentation is patriotic rather than betrayal. the fact that SPLM fought for more than two decades in order to free South Sudanese and other marginalized communities should be a convincing recipe for Southern Sudanese who are still skaptical about the politics of this genuine leading political party. The ransoming of Abyei for the sake of Abtei to be part of South Sudan is justified is must, and I repeat must continue.

      Young Nation is a student of International Relations/Political Science at The University Of Queensland, Australia

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  • 27 October 2010 07:02, by Gatwech

    Mr. Pagan Amum,

    With due respect to your Excellency, what kind of ransom are you talking about?

    The NCP’s type of ransom includes remaining with the land of Abyei and giving the South the people of Abyei to live in Warrap state. Are you ready for that?

    Again, the CPA itself is fishy about Abyei protocol. If you read the Abyei protocol you will come a cross a wording which suggests that the north-south borders would not be affected even if the people of Abyei vote to join the South.

    Now, what does that mean. Amum is correctly talking about the change of the north-south borders if Abyei joins the South. This means that the current borders between north and south would be affected by the new development. However, the CPA says the borders will not be affected. There is something fishy about the future of this region called Abyei.

    Now if the SPLM SG talks in advance about a ransom to the NCP terrorists, then we may see a proposed ransom by the NCP which we may not be able to accept to pay or afford to pay. And that is the land of Abyei or the whole oil of Abyei and its best grazing fields in order to bail out the people of Abyei. Are we ready for it?

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    • 27 October 2010 08:56, by Biliu

      Are we ready for it?, I don’t know brother Gatwech, but I’m certain that NCP will hold it hostage until a random is paid, I think North would like to have a percentage from our petroleum revenues for some years to come, I guess that’s the only reason they hold Abyei hostage. Are we ready for it….I guess not ….but freedom is not for free!

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  • 27 October 2010 07:03, by Ahmed Chol

    Pay a ransom to who?

    Nobody in the north would claim Abeyi. They found us there and they should not claim Abeyi.

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  • 27 October 2010 07:10, by David Glenn

    I am surprised by this idea of a "Ransom",but the Minister also says"the GOS is asking Us to remove Sudan from the list of States sponsoring terrorism",is this the "Ransom" he intends to pay?
    I just dont understand.

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    • 27 October 2010 07:23, by Gatwech

      The north is not look for poliitical ransom such as removing it from terrorism list today by USA and adding it again to the same terrorist list tomorrow if their relations change badly.

      They are looking for economic ransom, and that is the oil of Abyei and its best grazing lands, I guess!

      They may only give the South Abyei town alone.

      It is a dangerous advance by Minister Pagan Amum to propose such a ransom. It should have first come out from the devilish mouth of the NCP.

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  • 27 October 2010 07:42, by Oduck Bol

    If SPLM want to pay north money inoder to let Abyi go to south, this means that the land blong to Messiria or Arab priod. Let us be clear. You do not need to imply that.If the land blong to Dinka Ngok,south does not need to pay anything to the north to get Abyi to south no matter how much it will cost south. This the way of begging northerns to let Abyi be in south.

    If you have not know. Then know it now that Abyi is a second Katanga of Congo whish was abig field of war because of its resources.If you have doubt,check it out if those bosses do not have the same interest in Abyi like Katanga. The good thing is that south have excellent team,Brazil team.They are good players.

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  • 27 October 2010 07:44, by biarawieu

    the idea of paying Ransom for Abyei to join the south, wasn,t a good decision for south Government.

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  • 27 October 2010 07:50, by DASODIKO

    Who is National Congress Party to pay ransom for Abyei like International community pays for the release of International AID workers held by Janjaweeds in Darfur? Very funny statement. To play weak is not always workable.!!!

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  • 27 October 2010 08:04, by AAMA

    A cheap proposal by a cheap party called the SPLM to a cheaper party called NCP. Complete nonsence and abuse for innocent indigenous people who have been living together in peace for hundreds of years regardless of the nature of livelihood. There is no solution for the Abyei problem if Sudan is not united, period. Any solution will be a temporary pain killer before bloodshed returns because the sepration of sudan is a artificial idea that flows against the nature of things in these highly populated and dynamic bordering areas. If Abyei goes north, the dinka will suffer from the NCP and if it goes south the Misseriya will suffer from the SPLM solders regardless of any commitments from any party.

    Love it or hate it, this is the painful truth.
    Peace.

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  • 27 October 2010 08:55, by Bol Bol

    I honestly doubt Mr. Pagan even used the word Ransom.

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    • 28 October 2010 00:13, by Gatwech

      Bol,

      Pagan Amum used the word "ransom" many times unless you are ready to deny it.

      I watched him on SSTV when he was coming back from Addis Ababa two weeks ago saying exactly that Abyei was held hostage and in hostage taking situation a ransom is paid and people should care for the life of the hostage. He said all those. Do you want to deny them now?

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  • 27 October 2010 09:39, by jalabi

    Pagan, I know you are idiot but never come to my mind you’re so bad folly!!!

    What are you talking about? you ask us to give up Abyei including the oil fields that have been given to us by internation court and you accepted the verdict and now you want to give us ransom? what ransom??!! we are not talking about the oil fields in Abyei which produce more than 100,000 barrel per day because that’s done and it’s our money for ever we are talking about the land that Misseryia have the right to live in!

    We will never ever release Abyei because Misseria have the right to vote and you know the result when they vote, you better say something other than nasty thing and respct people minds.

    Jalabi (Abo Jalabia)

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    • 27 October 2010 10:30, by Ghor

      Dear readers,

      Be aware that there is no way out for Abeyi referandum to take place on time with the one of South. The options may then include, Paying ransom as Amum put it or return to war or continue to engage us on protracted negoitations. The NCP is using Massiriya as a pretext to get either ransom or provoke us to go back to fight. The question is:
      1. Are we ready for the war now? my answer as individual is No. bse this is not the right time to fight, thousands if not millions south sudanese are still scattered around the world, SPLA to be strengthen to modern army and heavily equipped.... NCP has equipped its army with weapons from China and Russia as a result of our oil. Let us just give a ransom. It should be limited in term of material and period. Nonetheless, we can change that agreement anytime we feel like in future, just like how many agreements they have dishonored.

      Let’s not hurry.

      Ghor,

      Rumbek

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  • 27 October 2010 13:06, by Haak

    hahahahah!!! Pagan Ransom? Hon. are you talking about to Arabs? why do you go for ransom when the people of Abyei themselves talk, give them chacne to be transparent to Khartouim

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  • 27 October 2010 15:18, by Kiir Majock

    Your Excellency Comrade Pagan,
    I hope the “ransom” to pay to the ruling party in north Sudan to secure Abyei settlement is not selling the NUBA Mountains/South Kordofan and Blue Nile again. The concern here is that the events which occurred prior to your statement are: (1) Abyei negotiations are stalled indefinitely as they were supposed to resume today (Wed) in Addis Ababa (2) the presidency met on Tuesday & ratified a past overdue census results for South Kordofan which are below expectations; then came the statements of "ransom to free Abyei from NCP hostage situation".

    We have known you as a brave and brilliant and an out spoken leader for the marginalized. So, please don’t push the button for NCP in order to marginalize the Nuba or the Ineggesena people more.

    I hope I’m wrong in making connections of what had happened in the past two days and analysis of your statement .
    I hope I’m wrong in making connections of what had happened in the past two days and analysis of your statement and making

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  • 27 October 2010 15:39, by Abraham Majur Lam

    No need 4 anything to do with ransom Abyei belong to South and no one within NCP can claim Abyei. It well stiputed in CPA that only 9 Ngok chiefdom will cast their votes. They are doing it deliberately to drag us back to war but we will not allow it this time untill South has to be indept comes January 9 2011.

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  • 27 October 2010 16:32, by Achuil Manyuat Tong

    Amum is not talking about any ransom. He is saying they will do anything possible to solve the Abyei problem.Thanks for that commitment.

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    • 27 October 2010 16:55, by Luthern King

      Mr Amum. keep it up you are standing for the right of southerners. No one should claim Abyei as his event God may judge both us. may GOD BLESS SOUTHERN SUDAN

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      • 27 October 2010 20:41, by Garang

        where in the world do people buy their own rights and freedom? this is totally a negative Idea SPLA. both North and South no the truth that Abyei belongs to South, how can we pay a ransome for our land?

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  • 28 October 2010 00:15, by Gatwech

    Bol,

    Pagan Amum used the word "ransom" many times unless you are ready to deny it.

    I watched him on SSTV when he was coming back from Addis Ababa two weeks ago saying exactly that Abyei was held hostage and in hostage taking situation a ransom is paid and people should care for the life of the hostage. He said all those. Do you want to deny them now?

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    • 28 October 2010 22:46, by sudanman

      What ransome does he talking bout?

      shuold we have to pay ransome for our own land? Abyei is not a land of Arab.it’s sudan land.Instead to pay ransome for it, we need to kick damn Arabs out from sudan and go back to the middle east where they belong.there is no, no, right for any southerners to ransome that land for money.that’s stupid suggestion for whoever tries to do that.

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