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Kiir urges Abyei citizens to return home in preparation for referendum vote


September 12, 2013 (JUBA) - South Sudanese president Salva Kiir Mayardit has urged the citizens of the contested region of Abyei to return home in preparation for a referendum vote, despite Khartoum’s rejection of the African Union-backed proposal.

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South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir addresses a news conference inside his office in the capital Juba regarding floods crisis which have displaced thousands, on September 12, 2013. (Photo ReutersAndreea Campeanu)

Kiir made the remarks while delivering a speech dedicated to the current flood crisis that has hit six of 10 South Sudan states and displaced thousands of people since heavy rains begun in August.

"We tell the people of Abyei to return home early so that they [can] participate in the referendum”, said Kiir in a statement broadcast by the state-owned South Sudan Television (SSTV) on Thursday.

He said his administration continued to urge the international community to exert pressure on Sudan to accept the conduct of the referendum as the only viable solution to resolve the dispute over the area.

"The citizens of Abyei can return to their homes so that they are physically present to participate in all [of] the process, especially voter registration when it is started. They should return now as we are exerting efforts to push Khartoum to accept the conduct", he said.

Kiir maintains that conditions attached by Khartoum as a prerequisite to the conduct of the referendum were unacceptable.

"They (government of Sudan) have accepted the conduct of the referendum but attach certain things which we do not accept. They want joint institutions which is not the priority. We want a referendum commission to be established first because this is what will resolve the dispute", he said.

Khartoum, which refuses the referendum without the participation of the Sudanese Misseriya nomads, demands that a joint administration and a legislative council are established first. While Khartoum says it is committed to the vote to determine the fate of the disputed area, the Sudanese government also call for negotiations to achieve a lasting solution.

The organisation of the referendum in October was proposed last year by the head of the African Union panel for Sudan and South Sudan, Thabo Mbeki.

The former South African president during short visits to the two capitals last week, held talks with presidents Omer Al-Bashir and Salva Kiir after their summit in Khartoum. He hailed their positive spirit and determination to implement the signed agreements but remained silent over Abyei.


Meanwhile, Edward Lino, co-chair of the Abyei Joint Abyei Committee (AJOC) representing South Sudan, appealed for assistance from well-wishers to provide food and shelter for those returning home to participate in the referendum.

"A lot of people from the diaspora are coming to participate in the referendum. We have 400 people coming from Ethiopia alone, more than 240 coming from Uganda and Kenya. We have people coming from Sudan. We have people coming Canada, Australia, America and in other parts of the world. They want to participate in the referendum. These people need food and shelter. And you know our people have never had the opportunity to settle down so that they could cultivate to support those returning home, Lino said in a statement broadcast on SSTV on Wednesday.


Lino has also accused Sudan of using tricks and politics to prevent the referendum going ahead, as happened during the interim period when a vote had been due to take place simultaneously with the referendum on South Sudanese independence on 9 January 2011.

"The National Congress Party (NCP) has no manners. They are the ones creating this enmity and confusion. We have never had any problem with the Misseriya (Arab nomads). The Misseriya we know do not have any single problem with our people because we have never rejected their coming to access water and pasture. It is the government of Sudan which is the problem and the Misseriya should know this. We have been telling them that your interest is in the South and the government of South Sudan will uphold it. They [will] still have access to water and pasture as it were before”, he said.

Lino said the issue of the referendum was fast becoming a red line for the people of his native region of Abyei.

"Our people have heard enough. They have suffered in the hands of the government of Sudan for more than four decades, so they know that they will not vote to remain with them anymore. They know it. This is why they have been avoiding the conducting of the referendum because they know very well that they will be embarrassed by the result. The result will be a complete embarrassment because it will be a 100 percent vote for a return to the South”, he said.

Ngor Ayuel, the deputy chairperson of the Abyei community in Juba, said he could think of nothing that would stop the people of Abyei from voting to return to the South from where the region was transferred to Kordofan province during British rule in 1905 at the request of chief Deng Kuol Arop.

"Khartoum knows this and they actually made it worse when they killed our paramount chief Kuol Deng Kuol, who was the link between the two communities. The value of his life is the return of Abyei to the South. This will be [the] only valuable compensation for his life”, said Ayuel.


Kuol Deng Kuol, was the paramount chief of the Nine Ngok Dinka Chiefdoms of Abyei until his death in May 2013.

The former chief died when a convoy he was travelling in with the United Nations Interim Force for Abyei (UNISFA) was ambushed by armed members of the nomadic Arab Misseriya tribe on as they returned to Abyei town after a visit further north.

Kuol was part of a joint delegation from Juba and Khartoum that visited the area to hold talks on how the two sides could move forward with consultations to end the deadlock on the formation of a temporary administration in the strife-torn border zone.

The delegation had held talks in Abyei town from the 3-4 May, before travelling north to Kej for similar talks and to familiarise themselves with the activities of oil companies operating there.


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  • 13 September 2013 06:49, by Whortti Bor Manza

    General Kiir is absolutely right. The people of Abyei must immediately go as to be on sight. Deng Alor, Arop Bagatt, Mustafa Biong, Francis Deng and many othere should do the same. Please Edward Lino and Ngor Ayuel remember: We live together and die together. There is no white collar job involved here. Every body should be treated alike.

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    • 13 September 2013 07:40, by Arakataa

      let us wish and wait for best from Africa union mediator to see how he will manage this current situation in south Sudan rich oil place Abiyei .

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    • 13 September 2013 07:41, by maluach madit

      I agree with president here, this is a right time for Abyei’s citizens to fulfil their dreams. If you fail to win,then be prepared for repercussions,and that would be a recurring shames on you and your future children. Khartoum’s government does not need you, but it needs your resources and that is why it has been committed to trick you and us in general... watch out.

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      • 13 September 2013 07:56, by Big Boy

        Dear Madit
        You’re right big boss,those fake arab they don’t want people of abyei physicaly they wanted resource inside abyei? if not they could have comeup with a good manner to the people’s of abyei regain them by any means.so let us join hand-in hand to help those peoples of abyei to came back home.eventhough they are more educated than other fake southern sudanese regions we’ll deal with thm

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    • 13 September 2013 08:00, by omoni jr.

      Does Dinka Ngooth still retained the reciept? kuol Arop sold it and now is hard to claim it back.
      If i ask,how much money or sacks of surghum did Arop recieved ? what if NCP rigged the results, what are you going to do? SPLM party let the Abyei foriegners to represent south sudanese in both nationally and internationally ,which is not good at all.

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    • 13 September 2013 08:08, by Naath

      Hopeless kiir calling people of contested region Abyie late,while Dr Machar call 6 month ago. Incompetent president it’s very late for you to call only some days left.it’s good to give them transport than making noise in Juba.if we lose this region it will be your fools,get the money out and hir any things that will be safe for thier travel.and also prepared for war Arabs are like snakes.

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      • 13 September 2013 08:48, by Mapuor

        Abyei issue is simple,let all people of Abyei go back home,reconcile and decide their destiny.Many people are now in El Obied and do not want to go to Abyei for they are used to city life and dislike the drudgery involved in rural life.Most if not all of the young generation do not speak Dinka,some speak Dinka as second language.Realities on the ground are shocking.

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        • 13 September 2013 09:18, by Big Boy

          you motherfuker, who told you those people’s they don’t speak dina, if i guess you are from stuipd tribe of Agaar in Rumbek,where majority don’t know anything exept ur discrmination and ignorance other mother patois languages even in broadcasting fm u are suing dinka.what the hell are you motherfucker’s people in lakes state..

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          • 13 September 2013 09:44, by Big Boy

            Cont. If i am wrong,i may say you are the last peoples in south sudan need to integrate with other poeples so that to learnt to be socialize peoples..you are killing urselves becse of Cattles,girls and so..these things are nonse..if someone asked you why do fight ur bro? there will be answers? just walk and look down to earth becasue no answer to this question..?

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    • 13 September 2013 09:16, by Peacocktail

      Good Move for the our President Gen.Salva Mayardit,Our people in Abyei need to returns home to REGISTER AND VOTE.. let them take it as serious matter everywhere they Ngokdinka leaves. have confident and courage in Mayardit leadership of peaceful settlement of Abyei issue. May God Bless our Leaders to maintain peace..
      Mayardit oyee, Ngok Dinka 9 chiefdom oyee.

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    • 13 September 2013 14:16, by daniell

      It is not persuasive for government of Sudan to propose an institution which would be utterly contrary to AUHIP Abyei demarcation mandatory and as well as temporary.Referedum can be done first to see if Messiyeria could accept to live intermingly with Ngok or choose to evacuate Abyie.AUHIP manadatory.Our care to those who are affected by flood.It is bad.May God bless Southern and Northern Sudan.

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    • 13 September 2013 15:41, by Dumodit

      President Kiir, should ackownledge that 2011 South Sudan Referendun was interest of South Sudanese all over the Globe. however, non of us was urged to Register & Vote.
      What I know so far 54% of Abyiei people sited with North, 30% sited with South and the 16% are mad nowhere to go!
      Believe me. Majority among Abyiei guys accept Omar Basher’s lied of make Abyiei prior to development if abide North.

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      • 13 September 2013 15:48, by Dumodit

        Continue .... Leave them a lone to decide what is best for them.
        There are still more Dinkas remain the Sudan. Do you think they are all going to be South Sudanese in the future?
        Maybe Abyiei will be part of their citizenship land right in the North if Ngok Dinka are not serious about their future status. Let’s Watch what next? Abyiei Referendum is at hand!!

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  • 13 September 2013 16:23, by Ambago

    President Kiir should be realistic. When he can’t even guarantee Republic of South Sudan’s [RSS] first ever elections scheduled for January 2015, he is here talking big of holding a referendum in Abyei. What he wants the International Community to deliver in Abyei is exactly what he has failed to deliver to his own people in RSS!

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    • 13 September 2013 16:42, by maluach madit

      Correction to mr Big Boy, don’t let the tongue make you look irresponsibly and naïve among us bother. If you generalise Agar of Rumbek as “stupid and criminal,” it is very unfit and illogical phrase as it describes how least you are in both political and patriotic life. Maluach Madit whom you appreciated his above comment is the origin of Rumbek, and he is very enthusiastic to seeing the safety of

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      • 13 September 2013 16:43, by maluach madit

        Abyei’s citizens despite Khartoum’s intensive threats over South Sudan’s boundaries.
        The current killings among the youths in Lake State, which you have taken a pretext of your pride, are only caused by pastoralists, not intellectual ones. Although that is a case… it will be a simple math one day …one time, because we are desperately looking forward to eradicating it.

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