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S. Sudan silent over Abyei vote outcome

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October 31, 2013 (JUBA) - South Sudan government officials on Thursday preferred not to make any statement on the outcome of the referendum in Abyei region, where declared result showed 99 percent of the Dinka Ngok people voted to return to South Sudan.

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Abyei residents chant “Bye Bye, Bashir”, referring to Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir, after the result of an unofficial vote was announced in the disputed border region on 31 October 2013 (Photo: AP/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin)

Uncertainty, however, remains high as to whether South Sudan, having initially distanced itself from the process, would eventually recognise the outcome, which wider sections of society welcomed.

Michael Lueth Makuei, the country’s information minister early this month, this month banned public media from covering activities about the Abyei referendum, citing improper languages allegedly used by those often interviewed on the disputes with Sudan.

With the ban still in place, it is unclear if the southern leadership will remain detached from activities in the contested region, despite the final vote results showing residents want to be part of South Sudan.

But while the country’s information minister declined to comment on Abyei issue when contacted by Sudan Tribune, his foreign affairs counterpart avoided making any public statement on the matter.

VOTE OUTCOME

Monyluak Alor Kuol, head of the committee which organised the vote, said Thursday that 63, 059 people voted to join South Sudan, representing 99.89%, with just 12 votes wishing to remain in Sudan, representing 0.2%. A total of 64775, he added, were registered, out of which 63,433 voted and 362 were declared invalid.

“It was a peaceful exercise. It started well and ended smoothly. There were 29 voting centres spread across the Abyei the area”, Kuol told Sudan Tribune from Abyei town.

“There was a huge turnout. People readily availed themselves at every polling station, even before the process began. The encouraging part was that voters themselves were the organisers”, he further stressed.

Luka Biong Deng, spokesperson for Abyei high referendum committee confirmed that 99.89% of the Ngok Dinka voted to join South Sudan during the three day exercise, which he said “started well and ended smoothly”.

Nyanchol Chol, head of the Abyei youth union, said the vote reflected the will of the nine Ngok Dinka chiefdoms, expressing hope that the people would now expect development in the area.

“I feel very happy and I would like the government of South Sudan to standby our decision. The United Nations Security Council should begin to show full responsibility and act”, she told Sudan Tribune from Agok, an area situated south of Abyei town.

CITIZENS REACT

Garang Mawien, a native of South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, welcomed the outcome of the referendum, saying he understood the frustration of Abyei people, which prompted them to organise the unilateral vote.

“They are welcomed, especially for us in Northern Bahr el Ghazal; we see them [people of Abyei] as our own people. We have never referred to them as brothers and sisters. We are one and the same people. What we should now do as South Sudanese is to press our government to accept the result and move in to protect the area immediately”, said Mawien.

I know that Misseriya [Arab nomad in the area] are not happy and so they will try by all means to cause havoc and disrupt our joy”, he added.

Edward Lino, the head of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement branch office in the region said he was optimistic the outcome of the vote would confirm the will of his native people.

“I did not doubt that the outcome would reflect the will our people. I was confidence that majority of our people would vote to return this area to the South. Nobody wants to remain in Sudan, even the 12 votes for Sudan. It was a mistake caused by symbol which they thought was for return to the South”, Lino said in a separate interview, soon after results were announced.

Deng Alor Kuol, head of the Abyei high committee said they would handle the post-Abyei referendum by waging local, national, regional and international diplomatic campaigns and lobby for the recognition of the final results, which reflected people’s choices.

(ST)

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  • 1 November 2013 06:19, by Big Boy

    Good...truth will ever prevail and I expect the Sudanese government/AU/UNSC/South Sudan and In’tl community to respect the wish of peaceful Abyei people to decide their destiny.

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    • 1 November 2013 06:52, by omoni jr.

      Juba thieves are very cunning,thieves know what they are upto> It is just a matter of time before they declared the support to Abyei people. The thieves are in deep pressure from all directions. Their minds are only focusing on oil-pipe-line closure in case they open their mouths recklessly in which they disappointed NCP thugs. HAHAHAHA.Just come out and recognize the results.

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      • 1 November 2013 07:38, by Bilpam Land & Itang are Roots of South Sudan.

        Dear Jalaby we are not Silent about Abyei Referendum , we are Supporting but we are all ready confusing you hahahaaa fuck you Arabs , Dr. Machar is already made the very important Strategy Planning about the Abyei Referendum now they are remaining one step forward to be Recognizing soon.

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        • 1 November 2013 08:14, by Chol

          What’s South Sudan officials afraid for? Are they afraid Bashir is going to come after them? Well; they don’t have to be scared because all they have to say is; Abyei’s people spoke and they choose to be in South Sudan. It’s their land; it’s their choice and all South Sudanese officials need to do is support Abyei’s people wishes! Is that difficult?

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          • 1 November 2013 14:49, by machar

            Chol.officials in Republic of South Sudan are not fearing of Khartoum neither afraid of Bashir government what is hunting its the discrimination of people of Abyei because of their intellectuality of which they dominate the peck of the Government of S.Sudan interm of employment.

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        • 1 November 2013 08:14, by Mi diit

          Shame on Kiir’s government. They let down the people of Abyei by distancing themselves from exercising their right. Now the referendum concluded successfully and they are ashamed. What will they now do, recognize it or seek advice from Bashir???

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          • 1 November 2013 08:16, by Mi diit

            It is a BIG shame that the jubilant celebrations of the Ngok Dinka people was not shown on South Sudan TV. Makuei Lueth and his boss incompetent kiir refuse to show the declaration of the result on TV. They fear Bashir will dismiss them from power.

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            • 1 November 2013 08:26, by Mayom County Boy

              @ Madiit because there are no journalist at the place of vote
              that is why no celebration record that was shown on sstv .

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            • 1 November 2013 08:42, by Chol

              Midiit
              This is just an assumption on my side; but it look like our government officials in South Sudan seem to be under intimidation by Khartoum to not say anything about Abyei victory? We are an independent country; how possible that our leaders could be intimidated by foreign leaders?

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      • 1 November 2013 14:23, by Hardlinner

        The way i see it brothers, ss government can easily sell any part of ss land to any broker with money. How on earth would the government of people failed to support it own people and their legitimate right to their land. I’m pretty sure the government of Kiir care more about oil money than it people. Kiir should know that we have more ways of generating resources from other fields than oil alone.

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    • 1 November 2013 06:55, by Deng II

      I’m sincerely credit my brothers and sisters from Jok-Abyei for tremendous bravery job well done they accomplished. God bless you and your leaders especially luke Biong, Lino, Deng Alor, and etc. Man of man cannot and should not worry about what will be the consequences. Abyei referendum vote is reported by any news organizations and any internet website on the world, regarding of being recognizes

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      • 1 November 2013 07:09, by Deng II

        =Regardless of being recognizes by barren African Union who will never produces any concrete results and worrisome Government of SS who desperately try to throw the part of Country away for oil. SS government now look shame and Pathetic to say any things, but who care about what they has to say.

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    • 1 November 2013 07:34, by Naath

      Government showed it’s incompetency,I like their silence as well because if dont back up your blood brother than something important missing from your brain.hopeless makuey lueth and professional lie maral.Will gain nothing than unity,both are fail ministers,2015 is very close both of knocked out with hopeless kiir together

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    • 1 November 2013 14:33, by machar

      Big Boy, you are correct to advice the following Governments to remain in control of the area,but it would be unfortunate that South Sudan will never support the out coming referendum vote, due to their relationship with Sudan now.
      AU-is the Bashir toothless organization which Bashir shall not put in consideration that base on interest of Sudan.

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  • 1 November 2013 06:22, by Maguangdit

    The Abyei people have shown their commitment to determine their fate. However, let us get ourselves well-organized to deal with those terrorists who will launch a fight to re-take Abyei over the next few days, months, or years. The UN and AU business institutions had let us down for many years and this won`t work again. Abyei issue cannot be solved without blood. Thanks to Abyei people

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  • 1 November 2013 06:26, by Paul Chadrack

    this is a serious situation in which the corrupt regime of kiir let themselves fall into,rejecting the abyei referendum results will make them face the up rise by south sudanese masses and possible military coup, accepting it khartoum will clossed down the oil.

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    • 1 November 2013 08:34, by Peter Mading

      To premature minded person; be sensible in your comments and be sure that politic is a game of win and lose, a game of dishonest, a game of lying and hiding the facts or truth. Any government that may come up to replace Kiir Government may seek relationship with Khartoum. Those who support Abyei people are the same Kiir people. Don’t be misled because Deng Alor, Riek and Pagan have Probs with Kiir

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  • 1 November 2013 06:44, by chuol

    To be clear, is not all South Sudanese who are silence over the Abyei issue,president Kiir and his government do silence and we’re all aware about it because they have fake dealer with Sudan ,don’t ever!ever! generalize the country for one man decision.Abyei OYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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  • 1 November 2013 07:01, by NyamNyam

    You will still break that silence.No return or reverse of decision.Abyei remains part of S.SUDAN.

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    • 1 November 2013 07:10, by Ming Dhal

      I welcome the results of Abyei referendum even if Bashir’s nonsense objection exist who cares? We are ready for War now.

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  • 1 November 2013 07:29, by Big Boy

    Days are long gone when robbery was an order of the day in Sudan. Oil and other natural resources could be stolen but the land of Abyei remains indivisible nor could it be re-claimed with intimidations. Abyei is a Dinka word for....what does this land has to do with Arab nomads that they be given Northern Abyei Muglad?

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  • 1 November 2013 07:37, by George Bol

    S. Sudan leaders know that Abyei problems can not be solves even 100 years; Salva Kiir said. So, Abyei has done their job well. SPLA and its equipments must be standby to defend Abyei. fake jallab slave call Misiria said that they have 30,000 ready to take Abyei.For me, we must declare war if they attempt what they did in 2008 and 2011. stay tune!

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    • 1 November 2013 07:54, by Abyei Propaganda

      Plz, don’t SIT oversea and make noise. Abyei is open. Just arm yourself and come to AByei land for that war. There are so many mad people who beat drums of but hiding in USA, UK, Canada, Australia and even in Khartoum. They charge other people’s emotion while living on social security fund in western world. GO TO ABYEI OR HELL. NOBODY WILL BUY YOUR IDEA. BARKING DOG!

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      • 1 November 2013 08:20, by Chol

        Abyei Propaganda;
        Are you for Abyei’s people to choose between South Sudan and Sudan or you’re one of those who want Abyei land to be in middle for both Sudans just for it oil?

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  • 1 November 2013 08:25, by Gat-khir

    Thieves in the govt of South Sudan are coiling their tails like dogs and shivering with fear that Bashir will shot down the oil flow as a result of Abyei referendum. The sons and daughters of Abyei have spoken clearly and loudly that they and their land belong to South Sudan. the citizens of SS are joyfully welcoming their sibling back and you are silence. Shame on Kiir-led govt.

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  • 1 November 2013 09:38, by Marco Bul

    Dear Readers:
    Men were removed during the reshuffling.The current gangs are just cowards.They fearing:
    1-Bashir/Arabs
    2-Hilda Johnson/UNMISS Mercenaries
    3-Thabo Mbeki/AU
    4-Ban-ki Moon/UN
    This is b’coz they don’t know how to convince the international communi-ngøth

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  • 1 November 2013 09:44, by Big Boy

    You guys what i obeserve from South Sudan government they are supporting Abyei referendum indirect way..otherwise if they are not? and if there’s any fighting accurate now in abyei. do they let peoples of abyei to fighting alone? or do they keep silence for how long?like the way they let yau yau to play a game in Junglei because of flow non stop oil for their kids to be feed on expensive of others

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  • 1 November 2013 10:24, by Gat-khir

    To people of Abyei
    Now that you have clearly determined your destiny through ballots,prepare to do the same through bullets. Do not just cast your votes and run away from the area. Polish your guns and get ready for D days to come and it is coming soon.

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  • 1 November 2013 11:43, by Konkooc

    Now Abyei vote to part of South Sudan as before what is wrong with our goverment.
    I urge all South Sudanese citizens of all ten state to stage demonstration forcing goverment to accept Abyei vote outcome, or if our goverment is afraid becuase omaar will close oil flow let be they did not close the oxygen. or history will not forgive those who are now the top leaders in the goverment of South sud

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  • 1 November 2013 16:37, by Gatluak

    Why Kiir Mayardit been shouting since 2005 about Abyei and now he decided to be silent about the same issue even at the stage that the result is out on our favor? The answer is simple...is because of oil money and campaign is at his door he will have no money to buy money lover. IfnKiir doesn’t want to lose people and remind with empty hand, let him acknowledge the Abyei result simply to parliamen

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    • 2 November 2013 09:09, by Rami Tot

      Kiir was optimistic on oil shutdown after quarreling Machar telling to reverse decision on oil shutdown process, he had already tasted the badness of the oil shutdown and he now cowardice of another shutdown of oil because of Abyei and owing to sell Abyei food lover president, don,t u have sense?

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