Abyei talks due to resume next week in Addis Ababa

May 26, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese committee for the administration of Abyei area said it has received an invitation from the African Union (AU) to resume the discussions with its South Sudanese counterpart on Tuesday.

Ownership of Abyei, a disputed oil-producing region contested by Sudan and South Sudan, remained contentious even 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 Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC). 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 head of the Sudanese committee Hassan Ali Nemir told the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) they received an invitation from the AU to resume the talks which will pave the road to implement the June 20th, 2011 agreement between Sudan and South Sudan.

He said they insist the meetings must be held according to the previous references, stressing the need to consider the outcome of the meeting which was held in March 2015 besides developing a specific timetable for this year’s as well as facilitating the work of aid organisations and the return of IDP’s.

Nimir also called for holding an expanded meeting for the civil administrations to achieve peaceful coexistence among the communities of Abyei under the supervision of the joint committee, and that the peacekeeping forces should play their full role.

On 27 June 2011, the Security Council, by its resolution 1990, responded to the urgent situation in Abyei by establishing the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (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 determine 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)

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