Home | News    Friday 6 September 2013

UK opposes any unilateral moves in Abyei; AU welcomes Bashir-Kiir summit


September 5, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The British government opposes any unilateral move to determine the future status of the disputed region of Abyei between Sudan and South Sudan, a senior diplomat said.

UN peacekeepers patrol the streets of Abyei town following the attack by the northern Sudanese Armed Forces (UN)

UK ambassador at the United Nations Mark Lyall Grant posted on Twitter that while his government supports the African Union (AU) proposal for Abyei, it has to be implemented with the agreement of Khartoum and Juba.

"We support AU proposals for Abyei referendum but timing/format to be agreed by both sides. Unilateral action won’t help," he wrote.

Last year, the African Union mediation team proposed that a referendum be held in Abyei this October, but that only those residing permanently in the area would 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 grazing, not part of the voting.

However, Sudan swiftly rejected the plan, which received the blessing of the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC).

Yesterday, South Sudan’s information minister Michael Makuei said that his government "sent out a circular to all institutions - be they public or private entities - to release the people of Abyei [to] go on special leave with full pay. We want them [to] go to register so that they [can] vote to determine their destiny".

Luka Biong who was the former co-chair of Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) from South Sudan, said that Abyei must be put under international trusteeship in order to avoid unilateral declaration by the Ngok Dinka of the final status of Abyei.

“This option of unilateral declaration by the Ngok Dinka of the final status of their area can only be avoided if the AU could endorse the proposal and UN to declare Abyei area as UN protectorate area until a referendum is conducted to determine its final status”, he reiterated in an article he published last month.

South Sudan president Salva Kiir reiterated to his Sudanese counterpart Omer Hassan al-Bashir during his visit to Khartoum this week that his country wants the AU Abyei plan to be the basis for resolving the standoff with Khartoum.

Bashir said that Sudan is determined to find a final solution that is satisfactory to all parties in Abyei that would ensure peaceful coexistence between the components of the local communities there "so as not to be a thorn on the side of relations between the two countries in the future".

Abyei was supposed to hold a vote in January 2011 on whether its residents want to join north or south Sudan. The plebiscite was delayed over disagreements on who is eligible to vote between the pro-south Dinka Ngok tribes and the pro-north Misseriya tribe.

The two sides also have yet to agree on the formation of local institutions in Abyei.

Meanwhile the Chairperson of the Commission of the AU Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma issued a statement welcoming the outcome of this week’s summit meeting between Bashir and Kiir in Khartoum.

The top AU official said she is encouraged by the steps taken to conclude the summit with positive outcomes "particularly the decision by the Government of Sudan to indefinitely suspend the shutdown of the transportation and processing of oil from South Sudan".

She also commended the two presidents "for the activation of the two Committees created to oversee the implementation of the 27 September 2012 Cooperation Agreements".

Dlamini-Zuma also urged "all stakeholders and the citizens of both countries to continue to support their leaders in their efforts to address the outstanding challenges".


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  • 6 September 2013 09:16, by Robot

    The British aren’t happy at all with South Sudan, they stole the maps that were suppose to be the guidelines for determining the border btn the two Sudans, simple reason is the dejection given to them by Southerners hence they sought punishing Southerners in so sheepish manner, UNILATERAL DECISION WILL COME AS LONG AS KHARTOUM CONTINUE REJECTING PROPOSED ENDORSEMENT OF REFERENDUM. IT IS BULLSHIT.

    • 6 September 2013 12:44, by Tutbol

      Look at this British clown. who does he thinks he is? His country is the world’s biggest thief of other peoples lands across the world & they just think, it is just normal & it is their divine right to steal other peoples’ lands. They still think that S Sudanese do not know their shifty behind the scenes game they are playing with Arabs, against our people. And here they are they are still>>>

      • 6 September 2013 12:47, by Tutbol

        >>> encouraging their other thieves to steal as they do! Good luck though.

        • 6 September 2013 13:44, by dude

          the chronicle problems of Sudan are caused by the British. British never let Sudan live in peace and they are the ones who divided North and South before when Sudanese where illiterate and dump. But now Both Sides North and South have a wakened up, and started killing themselves because of the problems that were brought, and given to them by British to poison themselves. British does not like peac

          • 6 September 2013 15:45, by Naath

            Tribalist,war is coming either we liked is not.meseria or whatever names we call them,they are now for battle, northern army ate behind them ,to respond the same pressure will built up.I don’t see any gain during hopeless kiir regime,with looting and killing,violating the rules of law is the only achievement for him shame to dinka dominate uncle,we will loose every things,Abyie,panthu, and so on

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