Home | News    Saturday 9 October 2010

Abyei’s Misseriya slam SPLM position over their voting rights, Ethiopia talks falter

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By Ngor Arol Garang

October 8, 2010 (JUBA) - October 8, 2010 (JUBA) – The leadership and general union of the Misseriya tribe on Friday accused the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), who control southern Sudan, of undermining their right to participate in the upcoming referendum vote in the contested oil region of Abyei.

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A Dinka chief and Misseriya leader in the peace conference between the two communities held in Aweil last November. (Photo Skye Wheeler)

The population of Abyei are supposed to vote early next year on whether it wants to be part of North or Southern Sudan in a vote parallel to the south voting on whether it wants to secede from the north.

Last year the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) redrew the boundaries of Abyei, ceding key oilfields to north Sudan but gave the South most of the land including Abyei town which has huge areas of fertile land and one significant oilfield. The borders have yet to be demarcated to comply with the court’s verdict because of threats levelled by the Misseriya.

The SPLM has interpreted the ruling as meaning that the cattle-herding Misseriya tribe have no right to vote in areas assigned by the PCA to the Dinka Ngok.

Speaking from Khartoum to Sudan Tribune, Hassan Musa, a one of the leaders from Misseriya tribe accused SPLM of undermining their rights to participate in the upcoming vote in Abyei.

“We do not have any serious issue with brothers and sisters from Dinka Ngok which cannot be resolved. We have lived with them for over two decades as one and the same people until the SPLM signed peace agreement with the government,” said Musa.

Describing the agreement between the SPLM and Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP), as “discriminatory”, he said discussions between the two parties do not give priority to peaceful coexistence between the Misseriya and the Dinka Ngok.

"Any discussion between the two parties does not allow peaceful coexistence as priority because SPLM has never allowed it. SPLM leaders are not interested in any peaceful dialogue. They are always interested in division and demarcation of borders. They are the one who brought this division. They are the one who brought borders which have never been there, said Hassan denying having had borders with Dinka Ngok. We have never had borders with Dinka Ngok. They have never demanded drawing borders. We have never been divided because we have always been one and the same family. It is the SPLM which came with it and it is now the one working against peaceful coexistence between us and the Dinka Ngok. They have not given any chance to initiate dialogue on how to live together as brothers and sisters," Musa said

Musa, a leader from one of the “Awelad umran” branch of the Misseriya tribe said they would not create instability but will use all means to ensure that they are able to vote in the referendum.

“We do not have any intention to create instability in the area but we will not compromise our rights as Misseriya whatsoever,” he said blaming the SPLM of working against their rights.

Juac Agok, a native Abyei and a prominent member of the SPLM in an interview with Sudan Tribune in Juba denied that the movement was preventing the Misseriya from exercising their rights .

“The right of the Misseriya as per the CPA is not being undermined. Their right to access water and grazing areas during dry seasons has not been denied. The SPLM on this remains clear allowing them to access water and grazing areas. Nothing has changed,” said Agok.

He said that what the SPLM opposes is the inclusion of Misseriya to vote in the referendum.

The referenda for the status of Abyei and south Sudan was agreed as part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the SPLM and NCP.

“The water and grazing rights of the Misseriya in the area as stipulated in the CPA and in the ruling of the permanent court of Arbitration have not been undermined,” said Agok, who is the acting of the SPLM chair in the area.

“They are the only people with residents of Abyei as mentioned in the CPA accorded full rights to vote at the referendum without any reference to Misseriya,” he said.

Abyei was transferred from southern Sudan into South Kordofan, which is part of northern Sudan, in 1905 by Britain who were the colonial power until Sudan gained independence in 1956.

The SPLM and NCP are currently meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

This month the NCP expressed hope that the meeting would alleviate what they described as the injustices inflicted against the Arab Misseriya tribe.

Meanwhile the talks in Addis Ababa between the NCP and SPLM on Abyei appear to be on the verge of collapse after both sides refused to accept proposals put forward by the U.S. special envoy Scott Gration who is over there seeking to bridge differences.

Sudan official news agency (SUNA) said that Gration held talks exclusively with SPLM and NCP delegations without the participation of the Dinka Ngok and Misseriya who are also present there. The U.S. official has already held talks with the two tribes this week.

The agency reported that the special envoy is leaving Addis Ababa shortly without securing any progress in the talks.

(ST)

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  • 9 October 2010 08:30, by DASODIKO

    I think its better for Messeriya to talk what they will get in the North left instead of to dispute on a land which hosted them. I am sure by such behavoirs they may through earth on sessim they were eating without restrictions.

    repondre message

  • 9 October 2010 12:16, by Manyieldit

    Is good that Mr. Gration is leaving the talk in Addis Ababa, This man has been the cause of confusion in CPA implementation as he always favor NCP/Arab because of money given to him by Bashir. Messeriya have no right to vote but the right to graze their cattle not just free but through permission as if South secede from north then they will be treated like any other foreigner who want the greener-passer. it is very clear that Abyei was annex by British colonial from South to north, was messeriya part of the Abyei before 1905?

    people should be told the truth and no more compromise when come to the issue of Abyei, we have sacrifices a lot to the north since the beginning and is the time to gain not to sacrifices.

    repondre message

    • 9 October 2010 17:02, by Jok Biong

      Dinka Ngok are the only people to vote in Abyei referenda, what Misseriya claim is wrong and basless, and will never ever happen in Abyei. Abyei will go back to the south even without referendum, they need it or not.

      repondre message

      • 9 October 2010 21:02, by padiit gaga

        This Arab tribe are confustrated their minds for nothings how come they can vote for southernes refrendom. Is it because the live in land of south, this Ayei is for Dinka ngok not for arab migrat. Misseriya can claim their right from Government of North neither South nor Abyei. let them go to Evil empire of their leaders.

        This southsudan independent will let north to be suffered including their cattle, goat and sheep. Famers will face drought in their dry land with out rain ho God help us to stay away from devil leadershipe.

        repondre message

  • 9 October 2010 21:34, by Padiet Deng Alony

    The CPA is clear that the People of Abyei Dinka Ngok are the only people to vote whether they need to stay with the north since they were taken to be part of Kordufan in 1905 or want to be part of South they were taken from.

    there is no justification for missireya arab to vote by force as they are saying

    repondre message

  • 9 October 2010 23:23, by James Nyol

    It is ill -spirited to noted that Musa, the Misseriya tribal leader, to acknowledged that his tribe was in Abyei land for less than three decades and yet they still inssisted that they are part of Abyei and should be given full right to vote. Why contradicting yourself Mr. Musa? You must go back to where you came from 30 years back Mr. Musa. You should be grateful that Abyei gave you part of their land.

    repondre message

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