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SPLM’s Luka Biong rejects conditional withdrawal of troops from Abyei


October 4, 2011 (JUBA) - Luka Biong Deng, a senior member of the South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) on Monday rejected the conditional withdrawal of the troops from the contested region of Abyei.

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SPLM’s Luka Biong, August 4, 2011 (Enough Project)

Biong said the government of North Sudan is playing on what it believes is the ignorance of the people of Sudan and South Sudan regarding the terms of the June Agreement on Abyei signed in Addis Ababa.

Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) spokesman, Sawarmi Khaled Saad, recently told AFP “The Sudanese troops will withdraw from Abyei after the Ethiopians complete their deployment in the area.”

“There is no ambiguity here”, said Biong, quoting the June Agreement: “the redeployment of Sudanese military forces (Sudan Armed Forces and Sudan People’s Liberation Army) from Abyei Area, immediately consequent on the deployment of an Interim Security Force for Abyei (ISFA) composed of Ethiopian troops.”

He said that the ISFA forces have deployed over 1,800 soldiers, outnumbering the SAF forces and if the UN wishes to "supplement these forces and their equipment after the rainy season that is up to them, but their capacity to protect civilians is undeniable,"

"The specific force strength was never agreed to by the parties or made a precondition to the SAF and SPLA withdrawal from the area,” explained Biong.

Biong resigned his ministerial position in the Khartoum government in May due to the "war crimes" being committed in Abyei.

He noted that the security arrangement section of the June Agreement states, “With the exception of ISFA, the Abyei Area shall be demilitarized. Any SAF and SPLA forces shall redeploy out of the Area. Henceforth, all other forces, apart from the ISFA shall remain outside of the boundaries of Abyei Area, as defined by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.”

“The agreement exists and there is nothing that preconditions the withdrawal of armed forces on either the status of the Abyei Administration or some fiction regarding what constitutes the “complete deployment” of the ISFA forces. Also, nothing in the provisions of the Agreement regarding the formation of the Abyei Administration (Section I) or the mandate of the UNISFA forces (Section V) mention SAF or SPLA withdrawals – not expressly or even impliedly”, said Biong.

He rejected a statement attributed to Saaf alleging that “a withdrawal without the complete deployment of the Ethiopian troops would disrupt Abyei’s administration" and argued that the only thing disrupting the administration and the residents of Abyei area is the presence of SAF forces.

Biong explained that Khartoum’s refusal to present a nomination for the speaker of the Abyei Area Council that is a resident of the area and member of the Ngok Dinka community is the reason for the delay in the formation of Abyei Administration.

He said that although it was not explicitly mentioned in the agreement, that there was a “gentleman’s agreement” made between the North Sudan Sudan president Omar al-Bashir and the Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi, that the position of the speaker of Abyei Area legislative council should remain the SPLM’s and a consensus was reached to give it a nominee of the National Congress Party from area, preferably a member of Dinka community. 

Biong accused the Khartoum government of trying to deceive the people to justify the illegal presence of its forces in Abyei area and that they believe that the presence of its forces in Abyei will prevent residents of Abyei from returning to their homes.

The UN estimates that 100,000 people were displaced by the conflict in Abyei.
Biong said that the SAF forces in Abyei “have no security function” since the deployment of UNISFA.

He asked the AU, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the UN Security Council to call upon Bashir to immediately withdraw his forces from Abyei and to allow humanitarian access to the area.


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  • 4 October 2011 07:13

    Thanks Dr. Biong, you are now doing a reasonable job in reversing what you Granfather has done to the people of Abiey that is taking them to North Sudan.

    By being so active in fighting the agression of the Khartoum regim, you will move your family from negiative to a zero level will which will granted you equal opportunity with other Dinka Ngok people.

    Thanks for hard work!

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    • 4 October 2011 14:56, by Takpiny

      that is true no condition for the invaders troops to withdraw from territory they occopied by force,if they don`t want to leave Abyei without condition, just let them hang on untill they will pay the consequences of their inhumanity they have already shown to innocent people of Abyei

      Is a matter of time for Abyei and it people to return in it original part wheather in peacefully or forcefull

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  • 4 October 2011 07:44, by Mathiang Beny Til

    Dr. Biong you are right, there is no condition for the withdrawal of SAF. It was agreed that SAF and SPLA must withdraw from Abyei and UN forces have to take militray Administration of the area.
    Bashir should not force himself to be Love when he already commited BIG crimes.
    Bashir MUST withdraw his Forces so call SAF.

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  • 4 October 2011 08:39, by Kalo

    The only solution in Abyei is to inform the Republic of South Sudan to release the all incabatans of Abyei to push the SAF in Abyei by force and librate Abyei like what happen in Nuba mountains and blue Nile,to be honset,the NCP regime of Sudan did not like the atability of Abyei and other part of Sudan including south,the can sign and vailated the Ageement in the same time.
    Thank Sudan Tribune.

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  • 4 October 2011 09:27, by Abyei Soil

    Omer al Bashir is not a easy going person in Sudan, you need to adopt some measures to settle Abyei in the rightful place. I fear many life lost will still coming up because we couldn’t be required to let our motherland go just like that. Hand up to you Mr. Biong I know you’re a man with your words.

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    • 4 October 2011 09:46

      Does Luka Biong and our Southern brothers know that the withdrawal of the SAF from Abyei does not mean it becomes part of the South. It is still part of north Sudan until they agree on a referendum and the vote is for joining the South- which i need to remind luka that is a loooong way away from happening

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  • 4 October 2011 09:42

    Can someone ask Luka Biong Deng if the SPLA forces based South of the River have withdrawn. If not then everything he is saying is la la !!!

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  • 4 October 2011 14:01, by wol one

    Bravo H.E mr.SPLM’S Luka Biong for you,you are the sonland of this area which is becoming the land over talk since from the time of John Garang upto this time of salva Kiir.for me i say people would have been wake up again from the death this problem of this land would have been solved by who made an agreement with fusty people of omer el-bashir but new minister of landprotecteknows his work for t

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    • 4 October 2011 16:07, by chief wily

      actually what said ’re all correct, but we need 2 work hard for our land guys, doesn’t matter by hark and Claus 2 take it out from BIG international criminal Mr.Bashir.

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  • 4 October 2011 23:41

    South Sudanese need to be aware that, what going in Abyei land is political game. If so quite sure about the agreement made last month and quote, "both should withdraw their troops from Byei..." I don’t really know what month both side should do that. I think everything being done there is politically and time buying strategy by N. Sudan.

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  • 5 October 2011 03:44, by Kuajok’s son

    A new country is built by leaders who know what is expected of them by their citizens. As said by Nelson Mandela ’Your playing little doesn’t make you less effective in bringing change to your country,’ Dr. Bioung is one of the most talented and educated politicians in South Sudan and I really appreciate what he has done here. Stand up for the identity of your people and you will be rewarded.

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  • 5 October 2011 07:13, by Acuil Deng

    Dinka-Nyok are still sufferering the opression and brutality on the hands of SAF, while SPLA/M is still negotiating, rejecting and refusing all options including a military one. If we in the ROSS will give away "Abyei" today, will Juba be next?.

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    • 5 October 2011 13:14, by Nationalist

      Mr. Acuil
      I totally agree with you, but I also believe that "Abyei" got some heavy weight like Dr. Francis Deng, who is an educated man, and who has been in the shadow for sometime. He can help mediate if a peaceful solution is sought through by UN, although he is not PLA/M.


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  • 5 October 2011 10:11, by Peacemaker South Sudan

    yes , SAF should withdraw from Abyei with out any conditions,Also interlectuals from Abyei should reah the consensues to determine the Status of Abyei ,it become very difficult to determine policitally where Abyei belong , if some members are interesting to be with North and some with south,while the inocent civilian continue to suffer from undefine illness.Abyei belong to the south in it Nature .

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  • 6 October 2011 06:25

    I would like to ask this question, where is faransis deng?

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