June 5, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The South Sudanese Ambassador to the United Nations, Francis Deng, said that the speech of the deputy head of Sudan’s mission to the United Nations was not directed against his proposed interim programme of stabilization of Abyei area.
- UN permanent representative for South Sudan Francis Deng (UN)
In a meeting attended by the representatives of the two countries on 29 May, the UN Security Council renewed the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) for six months.
The Sudanese deputy representative to the United Nations who was the first to intervene before the 15-member body renewed Khartoum commitment to the 20 June 2011 agreement on the establishment of a joint interim administration in Abyei. He further warned that his country would not accept “any attempt to devise any ideas or proposals beyond “the signed agreements”.
Ambassador Deng who intervened after him, alluded to a proposal he had submitted to the Council providing to restore the Ngok Dinka’s “erstwhile autonomous administrative status” enabling them to manage the disputed area.
In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, Ambassador Deng said that a news article ST published about the statement of the Sudanese diplomat “gives the impression that Sudan was responding to the views I presented on an interim programme of stabilization of Abyei area”.
“When the Deputy Permanent Representative said that “Any attempt to devise any ideas or proposals beyond those agreements signed between the parties or to impose hasty solutions will be catastrophic to the situation in Abyei,” he might have been thinking of the African Union High Implementation Panel proposal, the so-called Mbeki proposal or the Community Referendum held by the Ngok Dinka in October, as specified by the AUHIP Proposal. He was certainly not responding to my proposals for the stabilization of Abyei, which had not yet been presented,” Deng further underlined.
The South Sudanese ambassador who is a native of Abyei was keen in his letter to say he met with the Sudanese diplomat and positive comments on their respective statements.
Sudan in the past years accused the American administration of attempting to impose solutions favourable to the Ngok Dinka.
In October 2012, foreign minister Ali Karti said Washington in vain tried to persuade African Union Peace and Security Council to refer the matter to the UN Security Council.
Also on 30 September 2013, he some Western parties sought during the UNSC meeting at the level of head of states, held on 24 September, to impose the organisation of a referendum in Abyei without the participation of the Misseriya as it was proposed by the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP).
The Ngok Dinka organised an unilateral referendum to determine the future of the disputed area in October 2013, but the process was rejected by Khartoum and Juba as well as the international community.
However , the two countries continue to diverge, since the signing of the 2005 peace agreement that led to the independence of South Sudan, on the participation of the Misseriya herders in a referendum they agreed to hold.
To watch the speech of the two envoys before the UN Security Council on 29 May 2014, click on one of these links