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Al-Bashir says Abyei dispute could lead to war with South Sudan

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July 11, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – President Omer Al-Bashir of Sudan has reiterated claims to Abyei, warning that any attempt by the new state in South Sudan to impose a unilateral reality in the hotly-contested region could potentially lead to war with the North.

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South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir (L) and Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir attend the Independence Day ceremony in South Sudan’s capital Juba July 9, 2011 (REUTERS PICTURES)

Speaking to the BBC’s Hardtalk interview program broadcast on 11 July, Al-Bashir said his government had divided Sudan for the sake of peace, and that they have no intention of going back to war unless compelled to do so.

However, he warned that any attempt by South Sudan to impose a unilateral reality in the oil-producing region of Abyei may prompt the North to pick up arms against the new state, citing the example of May’s takeover of Abyei by North Sudan army in retaliation for an attack allegedly carried out by Southern troops.

South Sudan, which also claims ownership Abyei, gained full independence from the North on 9 July, having voted almost unanimously to secede in a referendum held at the start of this year. The vote was stipulated under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which established peace between the North and South after half a century of intermittent civil wars.

Abyei has been a major point of contention in the implementation of the CPA. The region’s status was supposed to be determined via a plebiscite in January 2011. However, the vote stalled as North and South Sudan failed to agree on the criteria for eligibility to vote.

North Sudan insists that members of the Arab, cattle-herding tribe of the Missiriya, who traverse the borders into Abyei for a few months a year to graze their cattle, should be allowed to vote, while the South contends that only members of the Dinka Ngok community should vote.

Al-Bashir told his interviewer Zainab Al-Badawi that Abyei remains an “integral part” of North Sudan despite an agreement his government signed with South Sudan last month to fully demilitarise the region and deploy Ethiopian peacekeepers to monitor security in the area.

The Sudanese leader confirmed that the country’s army would redeploy out of Abyei as soon as the 4,200 Ethiopian peacekeepers arrive in the region.

According to Al-Bashir, peacekeepers of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), which was established to monitor the CPA-mandated ceasefire in Abyei, completely failed to assert security in the region.

He said that the government wants UNMIS peacekeepers to leave the country, expressing confidence that their Ethiopian substitutes are more capable and trusted by both North and South Sudan.

Under the Addis Ababa agreement on Abyei, which was facilitated by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel on Sudan (AUHIP), North and South Sudan agreed to establish a joint committee to manage Abyei after Al-Bashir dissolved the region’s administration following the army takeover.

South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, pledged during his speech in the independence ceremony to continue talks with North Sudan to resolve outstanding issues. North Sudan, which declared recognition of the south’s independence, pledged to do likewise.

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Saturday urged North and South Sudan to return quickly to the negotiation table in order to thrash out post-independence arrangements, including the status of Abyei.

(ST)

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  • 12 July 2011 07:30, by Naath

    Mr. Al-Bashir, let it lead to war bro, we appreciat your being so hearty to let us go, but Abyei is our land. We would never let it go simply we are ready to die for it. we will not be doedging your mounthly talk any more, now we are the Republice of South Sudan. We are a nation, if you have enought power to finish this generation, there will another generation to come and fight for it, and we mean it.

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    • 12 July 2011 08:04, by Pothwei Apet Bangoshoth

      I think Mr. Al-Bashir is trying to intimidate the young chick that just got out of the egg. My advice to him is that this chick is smart enough. It will never be trick easly like that. The chick is growing up. As soon as it reaches adulthood age, it will send a very strong message to Albashir and his followers. My second advice to Albashir, is that each southern Sudanese person was created and will die some day. So; it is ok for each of us to die for Abiei. So please do not rush. We are coming soon. Just keep in mind that Abiei will never go to North until the end of our life.

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    • 12 July 2011 08:11, by Agutran

      Bashir should stop empty scare tactic, what war with South Sudan when he doesn’t even have any control over Darfur and Nuba mountain insurgents.

      Most importantly majority of the two were his conventional forces during 21 years of South Sudan liberation.

      Where would his forces come from to fight the war he is try to scare the south with and fight Darfur as well as Nuba Mountain?

      The reality just doesn’t match the rhetoric. Oh, they think all the people in the South are just stupid!

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      • 13 July 2011 04:27, by Yale

        Brother, I think Al-Bashir will not reach a south sudan because Of Blue nile and Southern Korfan.He will reach the new nation after he finished from as.We in Blue nile waiting for him 24 hr.Do’nt worry the war with Bashir is not some thing new for as, we have fouth with him 20 yrs.

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    • 12 July 2011 08:38, by Liberal

      Dear Naath,

      You are absolutely right, regardless of threatening and intimidation Bashir is doing, we are desperately ready to fight for Abyei if there is no agreement reach between two states that favour South Sudan’s people.

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    • 12 July 2011 10:23, by innocent

      Thank brother Naath,

      we people of south sudan shall negotiate with north while fighting, we shall fight while negotiating whichever road lead to peace quickly we will follow it. No scare compaign this time around , if they attack us, we will attack them, if the make people with us, we will make peace with them.

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    • 12 July 2011 11:28, by eye-of-an-eye

      Marshal gone crazy, we have few days to snach other part of Sudan and now he is talking of war again new state, we are ready to respon anything pointing a finger to our land, Bashir is only crying, he have no effort to face South now, we have all arms he have, I can’t even comment on this nonsense. we have nothing to talk to Bashir, if it is war we are ready, we will never, never, never and never leave Abyei to any creature in North(Bashir). Let him go to hell.

      Mr. Bashir you try to all ways to Kill/poision Darfur Rebels who are tomorrow leaders for Sudan but God opened their eyes and safe them before getting late, shame on you. i don’t think if you will be survive till next year. we are ready for any war you propose. anything you are doing Im watching at it, Im eye of an eye.

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  • 12 July 2011 07:41, by Nguetbuny de Luelpiny

    No rash to War by south.

    southern Sudan needs to wait not to go hurry to the war with the north now. It needs another 12 months for fully confidential to fight the North if they wanted stay in abyei as their territory.

    Lord of the Nile

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    • 13 July 2011 10:32, by SSLA supporter

      There will be no return to war because of the so-called Abyei that has been a northern region since 1905 when Deng Majok and his aides decided to annex it to North Sudan for whatever reason, perhaps, in a search for a better life or basic services northern Sudan can provide to his people which makes sense!!

      Ngok Dinka clan have been living and intermarriaging with those northern tribes that belong to their region for ages and everyone became an integral part of Abyei, they were living in peace and harmony with those tribes before John Garang disastrous war that came as the result of oil discovery in southern Sudan region and the implementation of Islamic laws or El sharia El Islamia in the capital Khartoum ( south was excluded) which doesn’t allow or prohibits the consumption of alcohol, theft and adultery, given that majority of Jinubiin, including those who led the rebellion , can’t live without alcohol, African music that they sing and dance without understanding any meaning of any single word in it, ridiculous isn’t?? and adultery of course!!

      Thus, Abyei people must continue to livie with those northern tribes in the same way they used to live with them in peace and harmony before the oil was discovered there!! otherwise, let all the people who live in Abyei vote to decide the fate of the region, or let Ngok Dinka move to Dinka Land in RoSS and leave the land of Abyei to northern tribes or let the Abyei region be divided between north and south Sudan or let let Dinka alone fight and liberate Abyei from north since they claim to be the biggest tribe in southern Sudan (about 3 million inhabitants)

      I have ready advised my people in my area not to participate in any war that may breakout between north and south Sudan because of unilateral annexation of Abyei to RoSS by SPLA/M criminal network!! We are already engaged in war with SPLA terrorists, as majority of Naath (99.99 %) are supporting gatdien ni General Peter Gaddiet, the leader of SSLA the army of God led by the son of God Peter Gat Yaka of the Greater Bull Nuer that are our Naath eyes in that western Naath Land like we are the Naath eyes in the occupied Dinka Padang territory of Eastern Naath!! But Dinka Padang now are cousins we really treat them with great dignity and respect because they adopt Naath culture!!

      God bless SSLA the army of Democratic Republic of Southern Sudan, with Malakal as it’s capital city! God bless Dr. Lam Kol of SPLM-DC, one of the prominent or leading opposition figure in southern Sudan, General Gaddiet chotlit of SSLA, the man of sacrifices and the only hope for justice and balance of power in our nation DROSS, General Oliny of sholo kingdom, the brave and resilient, our spiritual leader, General Abalbagi Ayee of Greater Aweil, courageous and resilient man and those great people out there that are opposing SPLM corruption, monopoly, totalitarianism and embezzlement of the public funds!! God bless all of you!!

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  • 12 July 2011 08:10, by Abyei Soil

    How do you understand Abyei residents? They are rejecting your oppression and you still force them to accept the way you thinks.
    Misseriya you are using as your shield are the one to suffer in the first place.

    Abyei is a Dinka land and Dinka belong to south Sudan territory.

    Misseriya don’t have any single right in Abyei to live here because they are not belong to this place. Imagine, all 9 Ngok Dinka have their subchief and Deng [Majok] Kuol as a paramount chief of Abyei region while Misseriya don’t have chief or any administrative unit in Abyei and still claiming enforcing them to this land. This is today not yesterday.

    What I want to tell you Misseriya is that President Bashir have bribed your future by using you just to get Abyei. Don’t you know how painfull it is to grabs somebody’s land?

    Your little education make you don’t understand what future will look like just like arabs did to our Chief Deng Majok make him signed treaty under illiteracy influence you see, it is now affecting people. So, it is a final warning leave people of Abyei and enjoy your life in the north otherwise we shall go by Gaza style.

    Abyei abi wek Baad nhiim.

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    • 13 July 2011 11:17, by SSLA supporter

      Abyei Soil

      Logically, anyone who lives legally in any given country on the planet earth, and for more than 5 years has a constitutional right for naturalization to gain the citizenship of that country, so, it doesn’t make sense whatsoever for you to deny Missiriya who live in Abyei for more than 100 years or so, the right to vote in order to determine the fate of their region!! That is a breach of international law mate!!

      Mate, even dinka tribe occupied the Land of Jur when they were displaced into peripherals by Nuer expansion!! Nuer themselves occupied many Anyuak and Dinka lands during the expansion of their Naath empire, for the reference: read a book called Nuer conquest by C. Kelly and there you will find out that even that Abyei land you are talking about migh have been annexed to Dinka Land from other tribes who knows!!

      If it is because there dinka in Abyei and thus dinka of ROSS do not want to leave them in another country,that doesn’t make sense because people who live in border areas always have tribes living on both country, e.g. we have Nuer and Anyuak plus other tribes living in Ethiopia and Nuer and Anyuak etc who live in the Democratic Republic of Sudan! So, why not Dinka Ngok??

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      • 14 July 2011 21:29, by Ayuen deng

        You have miss the point again mr SSLA supporter.ABYEI IS AREA OF NINE NGOK DINKA CHIEFDOM WHO WERE TRANSFERED TO KHORDOFAN BY BRITISH TO EASIER THEIR ADMINISTRATION.so dear the messieria were given right to graze their cattle in the area of ABYEI like any other communities who have right to live and graze cattle peacefully in south sudan.But does claim honourship over the land.So why do messeria claim the honourship of ABYEI and they not part of nine ngok dinka chiefdoms.

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  • 12 July 2011 08:14, by George Bol

    Khartoum regime want to see some mach(fire) in their cities not only the closest areas like Omdurman the outskirt rural areas(villages).

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    • 12 July 2011 10:10, by Naath

      Brother Georg, if that is what they are looking for, it will not take them too long to find it. This time, if there will be any war, it will be in Khartoum’s cities limite trusth me.

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  • 12 July 2011 08:18, by Adam

    I don’t think war will solve the dispute. Our independence was possible because of the CPA - we did not gain independence by gun fire.

    I commented many times on this website that negotiations are the best and peaceful way to reach a conclusion. However, I also mentioned that local chiefs should be more involved and the faces that were unable to reach to settlement since 2005 should not show up again. Concession is the key to the solution and the best people to do that are the Dinka Ngok, Messiriyah and other Sudanic inhabitants of the area.

    Since the borders of Abyei are known, then the problem can be solved by many ways - dividing it is one way.

    No party will get everything by negotiations. No one gets anything by war. Emotions are to be neutralized. History of co-existence has to be called.

    Adam Milawaki, Juba

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    • 12 July 2011 11:43, by rock

      Adam;
      be reasonable and logic,how come to divide Abyei and is not county for both tribe. Abyei belong to Dinka Ngok and Majlad to Messiriya. so if Al bashir mean he need peace with South Sudan then he has to leave those threats and seek for good relationship not only for Messiriya welfare but also other Nomad tribe a long the border.
      in conclude Abyei area will not be divide no matter what and that si message to those NCP Agent and like.

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    • 12 July 2011 13:15, by Deng II

      Adam
      There is no way in the world a person can leave his or her home and come to your home, and telling you Adam let dividing your home, and if you don’t like it, then go away. Can you accepting that? Messiriya like to get share of Dinka Ngok lands while they have their original lands.

      What I would like to tell Dinka Ngok citizens of Abiei, don’t be so cowardic, you have to protecting your lands from occupy by Messiriya civillians and millitias. Can fight Messeriya millitia around Abyei city. You don’t wait whole Southern Sudan army to fight enemy in the town and also around the Abyei city. Form your own millitias to protect your lands to be occupy by Messeriya civillians. You are indigenuous of the lands, so you have right to fight any time, any place to protect the lands regardless of what so ever.

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  • 12 July 2011 09:56, by Aleu

    This time Khartoum government will have to experience something they wouldn’t want to see. They thinks, they got more tanks and airplanes but who knows what the Southern Sudan will do this time.

    How came Immagrants who moved from Middle East to Africa for business purposed and now they want to claim a big lands from the land ownership.? It will take some years for Southern Sudanese to answer this North Sudan problems.

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  • 12 July 2011 11:20, by Lorolokin

    Bashir,

    We are now a state your threat of war will not help you, you will smell your fieces in a long way run and this time round we will demolise your tukul.
    You played with us during referendum but now as a state you will have to go to Arabian peninsula where you come from.

    Kinkak

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  • 12 July 2011 11:20, by Sam.Eto

    Dont cry my poor southern brothers, it must be hang over effect from the celebrating and now you hit the reality wall. The SPLM signed off Abyei to the North with the last agreement. Yes the NCP allowed Ethiopian forces into Abyei instead of SAF, but there are 2 things your missing in this agreement.

    1- SPLM forces have to withdraw behind the 1-1-56 line.
    2- Abyei will continue within the 1-1-56 border - i.e in simple english for you - IT IS PART of the NORTH.
    3- Abyei CAN be part of the South if BOTH sides agree to a referendum or agree on a political solution - i.e divide it.

    In both case you have lost part or all of Abyei - if the referendum is agreed to - the Meiserriya will HAVE to be included because NCP will not allow otherwise - so you will lose Abyei. If they agree to a divide it will probably be along the river - again major loss to you. The SPLM has no choice but to agree to this because the UN and world community will condemn it this time as a country and not a rebel group for attacking another country. Something im sure the NCP will make alot of noise and trouble for you not to mention full scale attack that you will lose like the first time.

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    • 12 July 2011 12:00, by rock

      ah ah Sam Eto, you are joking, that is redline if you don`t know.
      to divide area or allow Messiriyia to vote in referendum is impossible like allow devil to rule in the kingdom of God.

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    • 12 July 2011 14:14, by Gangura

      Abyei community are they coser of this problem they have to go back to Abyei not to run way from there.

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  • 12 July 2011 11:50, by Lion Son

    President Al-Bashir must know today that the time for threatening has already gone since the Southern Sudan had become an Independence State from North. Abyei is well known to everybody in this global world as it is for Southerners rather than for Northerners as he said.

    He must also remember that it is not only Southerners who die in the war but death is shared by every fighter at both sides. All in all Abyei is the land for Ngok Dinka in the South but not for the North. Stupid Al-Bashir should stop claiming Abyei as land for his foolish Misseriya. Shame on him with his people....

    Big Lion

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    • 12 July 2011 13:49, by Bush

      @Lion Son

      You are right,Beshir must stop his nonsense of threats of wars, if he wants this time we will enter Abyei in style.

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  • 12 July 2011 12:14, by Lion Son

    Dear Readers,
    why? and what is wrong to others people who failed to understand and reply the article according to it nature or meaning? I really wondered and laugh when I see some replies coming across apart from posted articles.

    You guys should stop visiting this site to write your non-sense messages of criticizing others tribes more than replying the articles accordingly. Hence no tribe is better than which. Great shame on such people.

    Big Lion

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    • 12 July 2011 13:46, by Bush

      @Lion Son

      Happy new independence to you!

      I agree with you because most of the comments here always are irrelevant to the topics. I don’t know whether because people don’t understand the concepts of the topics or it’s because of ignorance.

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  • 12 July 2011 18:09, by Dau Mawut

    Hell to War!!!!

    This time war will not HELP at both side (South or North Sudan) since we know who is who? from the previous conflict.

    We better talk first.

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  • 13 July 2011 00:57, by SaltLakeCity

    Abyei belongs to the South, so let it go Mr. Bashir!

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