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US says referendum only way to resolve Abyei conflict

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May 26, 2013 (JUBA)-The US government has reiterated its support to two Sudans, insisting the only way the two countries can resolve the impasse over the contested region of Abyei was through a referendum.

US secretary of state John Kerry (L) meets with South Sudanese president Salva Kiir in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 26 May 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Secretary of State, John Kerry, while meeting South Sudan president Salva Kiir, said the new nation and its northern neighbour needed to stick to the African Union proposal that a referendum, in the disputed region, be held in October this year.

“We commend the government of South Sudan under the leadership of President Salva Kiir and the government of Sudan for showing interest to resolve their differences through peaceful dialogue,” Kerry reportedly told Kiir Sunday.

Peaceful dialogue is the worldwide approach of resolving conflict of such nature and the United States remains ready to provide support required by the parties to end the conflict, he stressed.

Last year, the AU mediation team proposed holding a referendum in Abyei this October, but that only those residing permanently in the area will be allowed to vote in the plebiscite and decide whether they want to join Sudan or South Sudan.

This proposal would effectively make the majority of voters come from the Dinka Ngok tribe, aligned with South Sudan thus putting the Arab Misseriya nomads, who spend several months in Abyei every year for grazing, at a disadvantage.

The mediators said that the exclusion of the Misseriya nomads comes in line with the decision of the Hague-based arbitration court, which defined the territory of the Ngok Dinka nine chiefdoms in July 2009.

However, Sudan swiftly rejected the plan, which received the blessing of the AU Peace and Security Council, suggesting the matter be referred to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to make it binding.

The U.S Secretary of State was one of the heads of states and foreign representatives, who held a series of meetings with the South Sudan leader on the sidelines of the extraordinary AU summit for African leaders attending the 50th anniversary of the 54-member body.

The AU, previously known as the Organization of African Union (OAU), was formed in 1963.

“Conflict can be resolved through peaceful dialogue. There can never be an end to the conflict through violence. The dispute over the future of Abyei can be resolved through the conduct of the referendum,” the US Secretary of State said.

This is the universal approach of resolving conflict of such nature and US remains ready to provide necessary support to organize the conduct of the referendum, he emphasised.

The meeting between the two leaders came just days after Kiir and his Sudan counterpart, Omer al Bashir failed to strike a deal over the final status of the oil producing region.

Luka Biong Deng, a native of Abyei, told Sudan Tribune Saturday that presidents Kiir and Bashir failed to reach a compromise over the final status of the disputed region, after the South Sudan leader insisted that the referendum issue be prioritised, while Bashir wanted formation of an interim administration.

Deng, who is a senior member of the south-ruling party (SPLM), was part of the officials selected to represent South Sudan at the meeting on the sidelines of the summit, also attended by other African leaders and foreign diplomats.

Meanwhile, a committee, comprising of a representative from Sudan and South Sudan, two from the United Nations and one from the AU, has been formed to investigate circumstance under which a tribal leader was killed in Abyei, last month.

Kuol Deng Kuol, a paramount chief of the Dinka Ngok tribe was killed when a convoy in which was traveling was attacked by Arab nomads in the region. A UN peacekeeper was also killed, while two others were injured in the same attack.

The UN Secretary General, US and a host of African leaders condemned the killing, describing as a setback to efforts aimed at resolving the deadlock in the disputed oil-producing region.

(ST)

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  • 27 May 2013 08:18, by Jalaby

    No problem, let us do the referendum with the presence of Messeriya and avoid the months that Messeriya be unavailable in Abyei!!
    Any referendum that doesn’t consider Messeriya or puts them in its accountability is wasting time and will never solve the problem, till they figure it out then Abyei will continue to remain north!!

    • 27 May 2013 08:37, by Mi diit

      Jalaby,
      We will get Abyei when Dr. Machar becomes the president. You know how he fought for it in the hague court in 2009. I was in Washington by then. President Kiir is currently pre-occupied with leadership issues. And I believe that if Bashir promises him support he will forget about Abyei and ally with Bashir to save his leadership in 2015.

      • 27 May 2013 08:41, by Bany de Baai

        Mi ditt,
        you don’t constitute your Machar in any command right? Machar is the convict if you knew that. You are contributing to the imputation either if vapid always of guilty consciouse person.

      • 27 May 2013 08:42, by Mi diit

        Reports say that Kiir has agreed with Bashir to delay the formation of committees which they agreed in Juba last month so that the Abyei issue is not thoroughly exhausted. Kiir also backs Bashir against ICC. The Wau incident worries Kiir badly thinking the ICC may charge him for his negative statements he made after killing of the people.

      • 27 May 2013 10:32, by Dinkawarrior

        Mi Diit or Mitoot?
        You’re very stupid indeed, you were born nyigat and you will die nyigat as long as your greedy heart still running back and forth. You try to advertise your Nyigat father but you need sure that this not going work. Dr. Cieth Traitor Holocaust Machar will die soon due to his serious Disease he has.

        • 27 May 2013 14:44, by Naath

          Dinkawarrior, you are the only stupid dinka in these website why because you use the word nyigat as insult word,can you please ask other dinka who live in Ethiopia before you jump to the ship.and again son of deng jiok the guy sold or hand over the land to arab for food, are you dinka feeling that shame,now you are dragging south-sudanese to new war for your stupid mistake,now you dislike DR macha

      • 27 May 2013 10:57, by Dinkawarrior

        Mi Diit or Mitoot?
        You’re very stupid indeed, you were born nyigat and you will die nyigat as long as your greedy heart still running back and forth. You try to advertise your Nyigat father but you need sure that this not going work. Dr. Cieth Traitor Holocaust Machar will die soon due to his serious Disease he has.

      • 27 May 2013 17:54, by Rommel

        Mi diit:
        Machar did not in any way formulate any of the legal or historical arguments put forward to The Hague in 2009. He was merely the most senior representative to the mission.

    • 27 May 2013 08:43, by Dinkawarrior

      Considering Messeriya to be a part of Abyei in the referendum processing while they’re beggars of the Dinka-Land for their cattle grazing is like considering Satan to be a part of God’s Kingdom.

      • 27 May 2013 17:15, by Bilpam Land & Itang are Roots of South Sudan.

        Dinka warrior you think like Future leader don’t like polish Leader or Illiterate Leader here in South Sudan, and secondly you are the first Nyagate with your Blind President, Murdered, Assassinating people here in South Sudan we don’t need Salva Kiir forever.

    • 27 May 2013 10:48, by Kur William

      South Sudan leadership needs to pays extra attention to this Abyei referendum procedures any mistake to allow Misseryia to vote in referendum and then Abyei might be going to North Sudan control as it is now,kirr and entire population want to stand firm to the point that only Dinka Ngong will vote in referendum.William

    • 27 May 2013 11:38, by Maverick Southerners

      Dude, nobody, in South Sudan, can be scared by your self-fulling prophecies. We all know those are your scare tactics. Believe me, Southerners have been thru hell in the way that Arab-wannabes northerners have treated them. so there is no far more worse we could anticipate from you than what we’ve already been through. We got guns like you guys do and you die just like we do.....

      • 27 May 2013 11:46, by Maverick Southerners

        ...all that matters to us is our right to be recognized by the world. We don’t give a damn about how the rest will play itself out.

    • 27 May 2013 12:39, by Bentiu Elite

      JALABY ,
      Abyie is clear now , Messirieya are just visitors , they do not have to vote in the land of others. Abyie is for Ngok Dinka only and they are the only one to vote. Any thing more than that will make us FUCK Massiereya. They should know that they already have blood in their hands are criminals.

  • 27 May 2013 08:39, by Bany de Baai

    The US, UK and the AU are helpless in this disputed area of Abyei, how came the Paramount Chief got killed in hand of UN Mission? it is unreasonable because of the world super powers failure to handle the issue with the prior threat and commands.

  • 27 May 2013 08:40, by South South

    You see, USA is a close friend to South Sudan. In Abyei, USA will support AU plans to have referendum in October 2013, only Dinka Angok will vote plus a few other people who live in Abyei area. USA also supports SPLM/N position that Sudan must be ruled by secular system and if Fake Arabs do not like let them move back to Arab Island, anyway no one in Gulf counties will consider Fake Arabs of Suda

    • 27 May 2013 09:05, by Kenyang

      South Sudan,
      Good name, right mind, fearless heart and excellent education- a total package. Like long list of your kind here, one is certain South Sudan has a bright future.

      • 27 May 2013 13:56, by Oppressor

        "Kenyang "that’s why all crimes go unpunished in South? No investigation, no suspects and no money recovered, South is the only place where you get away with murder that’s committed in broad day light. What an excellent bright future that’s wait the ppl in south !! if such ignorant with a total package Narrow Mind Tank thinker called "South South" my God haaaa haaaa haaa haaaa

    • 27 May 2013 13:35, by Oppressor

      The problem of Abyei lies in the lack of understanding the nature of the region and overlaps between the Misseriya and even the division of the Ngok Dinka and some of southners advocated referendum with the participation of Ngok Dinka however they are thousands and divided into six chieftains and sons of Deng trying to drag others sheikhs to fight Misseriya tribe which consists of a million ppls

      • 27 May 2013 13:41, by Oppressor

        cont.. & ignoring that all Sudanese will not of course stand watching in Vain so south must understand that with out Miserya ppl vote there will be no referendum & if Dinka Ngok win miserya will never accept & vice versa so the best is both decide their fate & they have the ability with out of course with out the interference of Haramya like Deng Alur & Lucka Biong & other looters..

  • 27 May 2013 08:49, by Mayom County Boy

    This is how Ngok Dinka Abyie will choose where ever they want to go.there is no fear on that anless there is no Reerendum in Abyie area.iam afeeling to Dinka Ngok to be ready before Referendum to be held .please dear fellows citizens of Abyie make sure to vote succefully for your country south sudan .am sure no problem on that.

  • 27 May 2013 08:51, by Kenyang

    "..let us do the referendum with the presence of Messeriya and avoid the months that Messeriya be unavailable in Abyei!!"
    Why would Messeriya be unavailable (for months) if they belong to Abyei? You wannabes are lucky that you are dealing with Salva Kiir, one of existing stupid, coward, illiterate founders of SPLA. Still with our will, Khartoum will pay- continue eking for our a vengeance.

  • 27 May 2013 08:53, by Mayom County Boy

    This is how Ngok Dinka Abyie will choose where ever they want to go.there is no fear on that anless there is no Reerendum in Abyie area.iam afeeling to Dinka Ngok to be ready before Referendum to be held .please dear fellows citizens of Abyie make sure to vote succefully for your country south sudan .am sure no problem on that.

  • 27 May 2013 10:42, by Maverick Southerners

    Wow! it sounds to me like the issue of Abyie is resolving itself without too much of our effort to acquire it. If this state of affairs continues, the result or the outcome of the Abyie issue is gonna be viewed as a great insult to Khartoum, but a great cause that has worth fighting for to Juba. In this scenario, Khartoum will be viewed by the World as the antagonist and Juba as the protagonist,..

    • 27 May 2013 11:03, by Maverick Southerners

      ... to compare the nature of this problem to the story of the conflict between lion and fox over a lose and found calf. Figuratively, Khartoum will appear as the lion who claimed, in the story, his bull gives birth to the calf, making Juba, the legitimate owner of the lose and found calf. period!

      • 27 May 2013 11:37, by yong madhal

        USA AU the problems of the people of Abyei need the joint hand with the UNSC has to involv for this problem,Abyei will determine either to vote for north or to come south sdan you need to have unity harmony and effctive and efficient transport you are part of us don,t go to north sudan

  • 27 May 2013 13:38, by BLIND LEADER IN BLESSED NATION

    USA and their government are all hopeless how can referedum take place in short duration of time without logistical arrangement,let them just milk the resources of blind dog remember our country is a source of investment for the white skin people
    we shall release ourselves after finishing our resource under the hand of some cattle keeper

  • 27 May 2013 13:51, by James Ruai Gatkouth

    The only posibility to solves Abyei isues, should be through sellf determination and referendum excercise play by Dinka Ngok them selves wheher to join South Sudan or North Sudan.

    • 27 May 2013 14:12, by Oppressor

      Dinka Nogk are free to go south But Land of Abeiye will remain in Sudan ...

  • 27 May 2013 15:00, by Nyonged jau

    To Jalaby and all the jalabies.
    Your thirsty for Abyei will go unquenched. Abyei was a home befor the coming of jalaby to Sudan and will continue to be a home for Dinka Ngok. Nothing will take it to the North.

    • 27 May 2013 18:48, by Oppressor

      How about Dinka Ngok before 1820 where were they & who chased fought, killed most of Dinka Ngok ppl ? " Nuer Tribe north Baher Al Gazal & not Miserya ppls who received respectfully and lived with them for more than a hundred years ?Since 1905 till this moment but ungreatful Luck Beiong & Harami Deg Alur trying to loot them & we will never let them ...

  • 27 May 2013 15:26, by Nyonged jau

    Mi diit,
    Dr. Machar once in his life became a concubine to Mr. Bashir. I don’t think whether he will get presidential respect leave alone getting Abyei from Bashir under his leadership.

  • 27 May 2013 16:22, by Adok Wolu

    To conduct peaceful Referendum in Abyei is the only solution to the problem, otherwise the two countries will be in hot bed, i appeal to the international community to keep an eye to the problem of Abyei,and i support the AU proposal on the issue of Abyei as the way forwards, the is no meaning when part of the country remain unclear to the world we must find out Abyei and Panthou sooooooooooon.

  • 27 May 2013 18:31, by AUGUSTINO DENG

    The problem of Abyei need a political dialogue, and its does not even need people to fight. Because Salva Kiir does not even know how to tackle his enemy, that is the reason why Arabs becomes so radical and seems to be more powerful, and is Salva Kiir who makes all these mess.



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