March 4, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese co-chair of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC), Al-Khair al-Fahim has demanded that the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) expel South Sudanese forces from the contested region.
Al-Fahim argued during his meeting with the African Union (AU) mediator at AJOC Boshoko Mukatli that UNISFA has disarmed Arab Misseriya tribesmen so the same should be done to Dinka Ngok members.
He stressed that the Chapter VII mandate of UNISFA allows it to use force to carry out its mandate.
Fierce clashes between Misseriya and Ngok Dinka tribes erupted on Saturday in Laki Al-Abiad area in north Abyei killing of at least 10 Arab Misseriya tribesmen and injuring of 20 others.
Khartoum accused South Sudanese army of standing behind the attacks after moving north of the border line drawn in January 1, 1956.
In accordance with the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed by Juba and Khartoum, which ended 21 years of war between the two regions of the former one Sudan, Abyei was supposed to conduct a referendum in January 2011 on whether they want to join Sudan or South Sudan.
The exercise in Abyei failed to take place due to disagreements between Juba and Khartoum over who can take part in this crucial vote. While Juba says only the Dinka Ngok - who belong to the greater Dinka ethnic group in South Sudan - should vote, Khartoum wants the nomadic Misseriya tribe to equally participate in the vote.
The two sides have also failed to agree on the composition and leadership of the temporary Abyei administration, that will organize the conduct of the envisaged referendum.
Sudan has demanded the formation of a joint Abyei administration and recognition of the Misseriya as residents of the area and for them to participate in the referendum vote, without limiting their rights to access water and pastures.