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South Sudan foreign minister contests Abyei belonging to Sudan


January 5, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudanese foreign minister has contested remarks attributed to Sudanese foreign saying that the disputed Abyei area is part of the Sudanese territory until a referendum is conducted.

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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)

“In which sense when someone says Abyei is a Sudanese territory”, asked, Deng Alor Kuol, foreign affairs minister in South Sudan? “These are issues the two presidents, President Salva and President Bashir have agreed to address, so that these misinterpretations are corrected”.

During his recent visit to Sudan, Minister Kuol, himself a native of Abyei told a newspaper in Khartoum that Abyei is a South Sudanese territory. His statement triggered a response from the Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour who pointed to Abyei Protocol in the 2005 peace agreement saying that the contested Abyei is part of the Sudanese territory until a referendum is run to determine its fate.

To organise the referendum, Khartoum and Juba had firest to draw Abyei’s borders, the thorny issue was determined through the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in July 2009. The second difference is about who is eligible to participate in the crucial vote. The two countries are still struggling to reach an agreement over this point.

In an interview with Sudan Tribune on Thursday, the South Sudanese top diplomat described his recent to Sudan as "successful" saying he had three hours of frank discussions with Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir where they discussed a wide range of issues, including the need to resume discussions on Abyei so that the outstanding issues could be resolved amicably.

“President Salva Kiir was supposed to go but he delegated me because there were other commitments requiring his attention at home,” he said to explain the reason of his visit to Khartoum.

Kiir gave a special message to his brother al-Bashir, where he reiterated his commitment to the full implementation of the Cooperation Agreement and to resume discussions on all outstanding post CPA (comprehensive peace agreement) and the post secession issues.

“These issues include the issue of Abyei,” the minister stressed.

“So (al-Bashir) agreed to invite President Salva Kiir and they are working on it. I briefed President Salva upon my return and he is ready. If he receives the letter of invitation today, he will go the next day,” he said.

Sudanese officials used to say Juba didn’t implement the agreement of 27 September 2012 except the oil transit protocol because they need oil income, the only source of revenue for the landlocked country.

On the other hand they periodically repeat claims that Juba harbours and supports Sudanese rebel groups in the Two Areas and Darfur region. The distrust between the two capitals hampers progress in the discussions on the outstanding issues even if Juba has recently shown some flexibility to admit the presence of Sudanese armed groups in its territory and made public pledge to expel them.


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  • 6 January 05:41, by Kush Natives

    The question is, why Sudanese government tried to own any disputes over CAP? Abyei, border democration, Southern Blue Nile, Nuba mountain and security arrangements? The security council and African union knows this better that Sudan is dragging her feets or engaging in war that will not help them anything. The government elite group in Khartoum always insist on something will keep them in power.

    repondre message

    • 6 January 07:42, by Midit Mitot

      Look at their fake deal,
      In the world as whole, land is belong to citizens, what make Abyei to be Sudan territory? this is Kiir/Taban government deal to Sudan government in order to get Support, I know that criminal call STD will confuse you to death.

      repondre message

      • 6 January 09:02, by Chang Kuony

        Deng Alor forget about Abyei. Abyei had been sold in exchange of diplomatic relation with Sudan by Salva Kiir. Kiir failed to back up Abyei people during their Referendum in 2012. Dr Machar was only right to deal with Abyei issue others are sellers.The sons and daughters of Abyei need to stand up for their rights. Dr Marial was victimized due to his remark about Abyei.

        repondre message

        • 6 January 13:01, by jubaone

          Chang Kuony,
          Kiir has long disowned Abyei and many jienges have already returned to their jellaba masters in Khartoum. Kiir should redeploy his cowardly mathiang nyors to reclaim Abyei if at all. Otherwise Ahmed Deng Alor must resign and go to Khartoum. He has no business parasiting on Junubin.

          repondre message

  • 6 January 17:41, by Jongo

    Bra Deng all of you made a big mistake during the CPA negotiation why you guys left Abyei behind & in line like Nuba Mountain & blue Nile though Abyei is not like that it’s like Yei, Bor, Torit, bentiu South Sudanese nationality & territory Now go brig it back to SS by all means fight Bashir
    the language he understand we support you 20 Yrs we survive South Sudanese all of you go liberated Abyei

    repondre message

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