Home | News    Saturday 13 April 2013

Bashir in Juba: No deal over Abyei, talks to continue

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April 12, 2013 (JUBA) - The South Sudanese president Salva Kiir and his visiting Sudan counterpart, Omer Hassan Al-Bashir ended their talks on Friday without striking a deal on the issue of the contested Abyei region.

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Sudan’s President Omer Al-Bashir (L) and his South Sudan counterpart Salva Kiir address a joint news conference in Juba April 12, 2013. (Reuters)

Bashir, making his first visit to South Sudan since its independence in July 2011, vowed to work hand to hand with Kiir to resolve the outstanding issues including Abyei where they are yet to establish temporary institutions and set up a referendum commission.

Barnaba Marial, South Sudan’s Information minister said the two presidents conducted a peaceful dialogue on all the outstanding post-independence issues and that they resolved to implement all aspects of last year’s Cooperation Agreement.

The two leaders, Marial added, agreed to set up a joint administration in Abyei, but failed to agree on how the local legislative council should be composed.

"President Salva stressed on the need to respect previous arrangement. He wants the 60% representation and 40% representation for the government of Sudan. This was how it used to be but president Bashir said it is better to use 50-50 representation", Marial said

He further said the two presidents convened to continue their discussions on the issue and pointed out that Bashir had asked Kiir to visit Khartoum for further engagement on issues which remained unresolved.

"They will continue dialogue. You know nothing gets finished at once. There are issues which need consultations and explanation for better understanding”, the minister said.

Khartoum says it had previously accepted the 40% share because it wanted to encourage Southerners to vote for unity. But now as things are different it wants to re-establish the share of 50% as it is provided in 2005 peace agreement.

South Sudan’s minister of Cabinet Affairs, Deng Alor Kuol, who hails from Abyei, said the Sudanese government had no basis for demanding equal representation in the interim administration.

"The government of Sudan just knows very well that it has no basis for all claims it is putting forward. They are doing all these to buy time. It is not that they do not know what they are saying lacks basis", he said.

In the 2005 peace deal, the two sides agreed that a referendum would decide whether Abyei would remain in Sudan or join South Sudan.

The area of Abyei was defined by the international court of arbitration in The Hague in July 2009; the rule outlined the traditional homeland of the Ngok Dinka chiefdoms.

However, the protocol of 2005 deal did not mention the Ngok Dinka by name, only saying that those resident in the area would be allowed to take part.

Khartoum has since argued that the Misseriya nomads should take part in the referendum. In 2010, the Sudanese government said it was in favour of partitioning of the area between the two countries.

But Juba remains opposed to these options, saying the right to vote should be reserved to the Ngok Dinka and some Misseriya nomads permanently residing in the disputed area.

Last year, an African Union panel on Sudan suggested that a referendum be in the region in October this year, but the two sides still have to set up the commission to run the vote.

(ST)

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  • 13 April 2013 11:19, by Jang

    If the big guys should solve this issue of Abyei once and for all.

    repondre message

    • 13 April 2013 15:22, by Mapuor

      ’In the 2005 peace deal, the two sides agreed that a referendum would decide whether Abyei would remain in Sudan or join South Sudan.’the word join S.Sudan is self explanatory.There must be strong reasons for the South to claim Abyei and not sentimentality.Sudan still have a sizable population of blacks and that does not justify their coming to the SOUTH.

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      • 13 April 2013 17:25, by Mohammed Ali 2

        Mapour. what do you mean by " a sizable population of blacks"?! Do you mean that the rest of Sudanese are blond with green eyes and white? Oh dear, we are BLACK and we are proud of that and we don’t give a damp to colour!

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      • 14 April 2013 09:13, by Mohamed

        "would remain in Sudan" is also self explanatory, Mapuor.
        Why shouldn’t Abyei be part of both countries?
        Definitely the people of Abyei would benefit more if it were turned into an industrial and farming hub.
        Both countries will protect it and invest in it.
        Could be an African role model.

        repondre message

  • 13 April 2013 12:23, by steven

    The compromise should be made, in order to enable further prosperity of both countries.

    repondre message

  • 13 April 2013 13:24, by Andrew Ojok

    There is a game planning mr Alor on this pending issues in Abyei because world getting interest on this once, because they known it already that Abyei belong to the south Sudan special monjang dominated south speak the same Dinka mother,land & the don’t want to finish the job while they haven’t got enough money in their pocket. They want to uses Abyei as a project to get rite out everythin the sou

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  • 14 April 2013 00:12, by Ito

    The issue of Abyei is very sensitive and confusing from the beginning. Abyei politicians on the other hand are manipulating the situation to get rich quick by delaying any peaceful and lasting solution to the case in point. Two choices left 1. for the international community to make final and binding decision 2. for the people of abyei to take last resort step by taking the law into their hands.

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