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South Sudan foreign minister protests denial of travel to Abyei


January 4, 2018 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s foreign minister has protested denial to travel to the disputed Abyei region, sparking anger from the local community leadership.

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South Sudan minister Deng Alor Koul (Photo: Moses Lomoyat)

Minister Deng Alor Kuol was scheduled to accompany and attend the burial of a fallen diplomat in the disputed territory of Abyei area.

Kuol told Sudan Tribune on Thursday he was surprised the leadership of the United Nations interim force could not put him on the flight that was taking the body of late Ambassador Kuol Alor Kuol for burial in the disputed area.

Ambassador Kuol was the representative of the Republic of South Sudan to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland, died on 27 December 2017. The spokesperson of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Mawien Makol Arik, who announced the death at the time, described the incident as a big loss to the country.

The foreign ministry remembered him as a man the brain behind the transformation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. His body was returned to the country during New Year eve and the government made the preparations for a delivery body to his native area.

Foreign affairs Minister Deng Alor Kuol who comes from the area was expected to accompany and attend the burial at home but failed to go on the same flight he had hoped to use to accompany the body.

No immediate explanation was given. Individual officials claimed the leadership of the United Nations interim force in the area had declined out of fear of being blamed by the leadership of the two countries for allowing senior government officials to visit the area without the knowledge and approval of the two governments.

UN sources in Abyei told Sudan Tribune neither the Sudanese government nor the government of South Sudan had shown interest in the visit of Alor to the area.

“Deng Alor is a foreign minister of a country. He is a not common person for him to just get into the disputed area. He is a prominent figure. His visit requires the approval of the two governments. But when the mission received the request from his office, it asked other relevant office whether it was okay but no response was given until the time for bringing the body of Ambassador Kuol Alor Kuol came," said a source close to United Nations Interim Force in Abyei (UNISFA) on Thursday.

"So there was nothing the Mission could do to put him on the flight. That was what happened,” he further stressed.

Minister Kuol told Sudan Tribune on Thursday it was unfortunate he could not go to the area to attend the burial, saying he was still looking for an answer to the reason behind the failure to put him on the flight.

“It is true I did not go to Abyei. I was supposed to go on the UNISFA flight but later I realized I was not on the flight even after a request was made. There is no answer I have received up to now and when the Sudanese ambassador was asked, he said they have nothing to do with my being left out on the flight. It is really an unfortunate decision. I am looking for an answer to the cause,” he said.

The foreign minister said he was not going for a political mission but rather going to attend the burial and mourn with the family members, relatives, friends and community members of the deceased.


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  • 5 January 03:28, by Deng K A Biong

    Ridiculous,shenanigan and disbelieve, where are the humanitarian values of two Sudans? To prohibit a person of attending the burial of his cousin is a shamble act indeed,Deng’s aim was a compassion and personal visit, i’m not blaming Unisfa here but the leadership of two countries of South Sudan and the Sudan.

    repondre message

    • 5 January 06:28, by Augustino

      What was the roles of South Sudan government in this case since the dead person was an official of South Sudan government? Deng Alor would have been allowed on two reasons
      1- Family ground
      2-Government Official
      Sudan government must cooperate on this situation if given a pressure by the government of South Sudan. The situation like this can happen to them and it may needs cooperation from South

      repondre message

  • 5 January 07:01, by Eastern

    Does is ring a bell? Abyei is not South Sudanese...

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    • 5 January 11:21, by South South


      Who says Abyei is not South Sudan? By the way, your English was not so good this time: "Does is ring a bell?"
      Let’s focus on peace in South Sudan. Sudan is a wicked country and it has been under Islamic government for 20 years. They do not like us in South Sudan.

      repondre message

      • 5 January 11:44, by Eastern

        South South,

        Whether you read it as does is ring a bell or does THIS ring a bell is immaterial to me. My main concern is getting the tribal regime in Juba know that it cannot eat its cake and have it. You need to focus now on the new headache which started last night in Juba. Another trouble is brewing!

        repondre message

        • 5 January 12:13, by South South


          It’s Ok to have a dream about the fighting in Juba. Just keep dreaming, we need peace in our country. You are invited to join peace.

          repondre message

          • 5 January 12:20, by Eastern

            South South,

            I love the PEACH fruit but it’s not available in Juba these days. As for peace, dream on! South Sudanese don’t have a country they can call there own. The dinka, through their Jieng Council of Elders, are struggling hard to shape the country as an only dinkas country co-opting a few wayward non-dinkas in the scheme...

            repondre message

            • 5 January 12:45, by South South


              South Sudan as a country is for all. Just look in Juba, you will find big business men who are not Dinka. They were not there during old Sudan. Peace is very important to all of us.

              repondre message

              • 5 January 12:51, by Eastern

                South South,

                Are you telling me to profile these HABASH (Ethiopians & Eritreans) who are day and night washing the ill-gotten wealth? I know who should be in business lawfully not Benjamin Bol Mel, et al. I am not talking of the realignments of public roads in Gudele for Lou Clinic and the Orange house in Mia Saba!

                repondre message

                • 5 January 13:50, by South South


                  You fail to mentioned our country men from Equatoria who are very big business men in Juba. I think it’s ok to have Ethiopians and Eritreans in South Sudan for business only. These people fought alongside with us during our struggle. They are much , much better to rely on them when there is a war.

                  repondre message

                  • 5 January 16:33, by Eastern

                    South South,

                    I don’t care how the Eritreans and Ethiopians got their capitals. But any South Sudanese attempting a multi million business is just washing an ill-gotten wealth.... That should tell you why Benjamin Bol Mel is in trouble. More are to follow him soon!

                    repondre message

    • 5 January 22:43, by Kuch

      Do you even understand the meaning of the word "Abyei"? The Abyei Ngok Dinka did their referendum in 2012 with a resounding vote of 98% to have nothing to do with the so-called cloned arabs of North Sudan again but to come back to their South Sudan’s brothers & sisters. And the referendum was organized by Luka Biong & Deng Alor himself & their referendum results was tacitly>>>

      repondre message

      • 5 January 22:51, by Kuch

        recognized by their South Sudanese brothers & sisters. And the Abyei Ngok Dinkas are treated like every else in South Sudan. But as always, SUDAN TRIBUNE would always post some polemic articles just to enrage the South Sudanese people. What power does that ethiopian idiot has over the son of soil to prevent him from visiting his country? None that l know of>>>

        repondre message

        • 5 January 22:57, by Kuch

          People of Creamia did their own referendum to join Russia a few years ago and voted overwhelmingly to join Russia & their referendum results were recognized by the Russian people. Some idiots from the US, the UK & others protested, but the Russians ignored them nonetheless. But when it comes to South Sudan, the US, the UK & their cloned so-called arabs of North Sudan think, they can bully us>>>

          repondre message

          • 5 January 23:01, by Kuch

            if it were not because of some of leaders shortsightedness & the current mess in our country, would have settled our scores with of taking every inch of our occupied land by now in one way or another. But anyway, that is what is going to happen in end by hooks & crooks later.

            repondre message

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