October 30, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Misseriya youth group on Wednesday announced they are no longer committed to any agreement by Khartoum and Juba and criticised the South Sudanese government for not preventing the organisation of the unilateral vote.
The National Youth and Student Organisation for Abyei (NYSOA), which includes the Misseriya of Abyei and Dinka Nogk members of the National Congress Party, announced on Tuesday their intention to hold counter – referendum in the disputed area of Abyei.
In a second press conference held in Khartoum, the group denounced the position of the South Sudanese government saying that Juba failed to stop leading members of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) from organising the vote, stressing that it bears the result of their action.
In a press conference held at the headquarters of the official news agency SUNA in Khartoum, NYSOA secretary general, Al-Saleh Mohamed Al-Saleh said no body has to blame them for any action they can undertake "to defend Abyei".
Juba has failed to dissuade what he called " influential sons of the Ngok Dinka in the SPLM" from holding this referendum, he said, adding that nobody further held them accountable for violating the agreements signed between the two countries.
Al-Saleh said their group will take all the necessary steps enabling them to protect the region from the hands of the Nogk Dinka members of the SPLM He pointed out that Abyei belongs to the Misseriya and Nogk Dinka and they would not accept any compromise on this matter.
The South Sudanese government officially disapproved the organisation of the referendum. Also the African Union and the United Nations called to refrain from unilateral actions. More the head of the AU commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, termed the process as "illegal" and condemned it.
Sudanese co-chair of Abyei steering committee, Al-Khair Al-Faheem, on Wednesday distanced the government from the initiative of the NYSOA members saying that Khartoum does not support any unilateral referendum organised by Ngok Dinka or Misseriya.
He further stressed the need to establish the joint administration and police force there.
A Misseriya tribal leader Al-Hireika Mohamed Osman told the semi-official SMC that they wrote to the president Omer Al-Bashir asking him to denounce all the agreements signed over Abyei with the South Sudan adding they have 30.000 Misseriya (fighters) ready to defend the region if the Ngok Dinka declare Abyei part of the South Sudan.
On the other hand, the National Assembly speaker Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Tahir condemned the organisation of a referendum in Abyei saying "What is happening in Abyei is a rebellion similar to what happened in South Kordofan and Blue Nile".
Al-Tahir further said that the group, which organised the referendum, tries to ignite war between the two countries. "Whatever they do, their move will not be legitimate", he added.
The speaker was reacting to statements by the head of the parliamentarian opposition block Ismail Hussein who said that Khartoum and Juba jointly bear the responsibility of the referendum organised by the Ngok Dinka in Abyei.
Hussein who is a member of the Popular Congress Party of Hassan Al-Turabi, said the failure of the two government to reach an agreement on the organisation of the referendum triggered the unilateral referendum and the on-going preparations for the counter-referendum.
He however rejected Tahir’s accusations that what he said means he had sympathy for those who organised a referendum in Abyei.
The Abyei referendum committee chairman and former minister Deng Alor said they were forced to hold this unilateral vote after expressing their frustration with the " inaction by the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) to implement the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) proposal on the final status of Abyei".
In September 2012, Thabo Mbeki , AUHIP chairman proposed to hold a referendum to determine the future of Abyei with the participation of the Ngok Dinka only excluding the Misseriya vote.