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Sudan urges EU to press for establishing political institutions in Abyei

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UNISFA Acting Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Tesfay Gidey Hailemichael of Ethiopia arrives in Abyei on 21 March 2017 (UN Photo)
December 9, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Head of the Sudanese committee for the administration of Abyei area Hassan Ali Nimir has called on the European Union (EU) to play an effective role to establish the political institutions in the disputed region according to the June, 2011agreement between Sudan and South Sudan.

Ownership of Abyei, a disputed border region contested by Sudan and South Sudan, remained contentious after the world’s youngest nation split from Sudan in 2011.

There is no joint administration between Sudan and South Sudan, as the Ngok Dinka refuse the formation of Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC). Instead, they call to hold a referendum without the Sudanese pastoralist Misseriya.

Now there are two committees one for the Misseriya appointed by the Sudanese government and another for the Ngok Dinka appointed by Juba government.

On Saturday, Nimir met with the EU envoy to Sudan Jean-Michel Dumond following the visit of the EU delegation to Abyei to inspect the situation of the South Sudan refugees.

He told the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) they discussed the requirements for providing the basic water, education and health services to the local community at Dafra area.

Nimir demanded the EU to play a positive role to ensure the neutrality of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) towards the local residents.

He also urged to open Abyei for all ethnicities as well as supporting the UNISFA to carry out its tasks particularly with regards to making the disputed region a zone free of weapons.

“We proposed to the envoy to make a visit to Abyei including all EU ambassadors in Sudan and South Sudan besides the committees from both sides to assess the services needs in the area” he said

Nimir further said his committee hasn’t been able to provide the necessary services to the residents of the region or facilitate the task of aid groups operating there due to the absence of the joint political institutions in the region.

On 27 June 2011, the Security Council, by its resolution 1990, responded to the urgent situation in Abyei by establishing the UNISFA.

UNISFA’s establishment came after Sudan’s government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) reached an agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to demilitarise Abyei and let Ethiopian troops monitor the area.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) provides that the contested territory remains part of the north until the organisation of a referendum determines its fate.

The difference over who will participate in the referendum prevents the two countries from holding the agreed referendum.

However, the Dinka Ngok organised a unilateral referendum from 27to 29 October 2013 to say they want to join the Republic of South Sudan.

Khartoum, Juba, the African Union and the international community refused to recognise the outcome of the vote.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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