Home | Press Releases    Tuesday 10 January 2012

One year anniversary of failed Abyei referendum

From The Ngok Dinka People of Abyei Area

PRESS RELEASE – JANUARY 9, 2012

With great regret we the Ngok Dinka of Abyei Area mark the one-year anniversary of our lost referendum - a referendum guaranteed by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement but never delivered by the Government of Sudan (GoS) because of the obstacles it continuously placed in its way. Instead the Government of Sudan brutally attacked us, killed some of us, injured us, displaced us, occupied our lands, looted our properties and has continued to try to steal our resources and settle others in our homeland.

In light of the Government’s refusal to admit its violations to date, remedy the situation in cooperation with the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, and withdraw its troops from our traditional lands, we the Ngok Dinka of Abyei Area filed formal complaints today before the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racism and to six (6) UN Special Rapporteurs. It is expected that the Committee will review our request for assistance in their 80th period of sessions starting February 13 and that the UN Rapporteurs will pay immediate attention to the gravity of our situation, including by requesting an on site visit.

Indeed, as all know, in May of 2011 the Government of Sudan (GoS) unleashed the Sudan Armed Forces and its armed militias on the Ngok Dinka People, once again resulting in the forced displacement of over 100,00 persons, the death and injury of community members, the burning, destruction and looting of our homes and belongings, the orphaning of children, the deprivation of full access to our traditional lands and natural resources, and a humanitarian crisis which denies us access to food, shelter and medical attention. Today, the suffering of our people goes unaddressed by the Government of Sudan. Moreover, the denial of the Ngok Dinka people’s referendum to decide their political status has violated our rights to self-determination.

As a result of this grave situation, today we have presented a formal request to the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (Committee) of the United Nations under its Early-Warning Measures and Urgent Procedures mechanisms. We called the Committee’s attention to the urgent situation facing the Ngok Dinka People of Abyei and the Government of Sudan’s violations of its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Convention). We respectfully requested that the Committee follow up on the concerns and recommendations it already made to Sudan regarding forced displacements, civilian casualties and violations of economic and social rights, take all measures within its power to prevent the escalations of conflict in the area, and ensure that the ongoing violations of the Convention cease and are remedied in a peaceful and just manner.

The Ngok Dinka communities have further made a formal request for the immediate assistance of six UN Special Rapporteurs –the Special Rapporteurs on the Right of Everyone to Adequate Housing; the Right to Food; the Right to Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health; the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons; and the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. We have asked them to investigate further our grave situation, determine the existence of violations, and take all measures possible as before the Government of Sudan and the larger international community to end the suffering that continues to befall on us.

Lastly, on this day, we extend our congratulations to the people of the Republic of South Sudan for the freedom we have all won and for the freedom that we have all honored through our diligent efforts over the past six months to build a new State that respects diversity and aims to provide opportunities and protections to all without discrimination. Being citizens of South Sudan as enshrined in our Transitional Constitution and convinced that Abyei Area is part and parcel of South Sudan, we plead to the leadership and peoples of our new state of South Sudan to remain focused on Abyei area until its inclusion within South Sudan is acknowledged by the Government of Sudan. We register our profound appreciation for the firmed and unwavering position taken by our President Salva Kiir Mayardit, SPLM Leadership, all Southern Political Parties, the Churches, state governments, people of ten states of South Sudan, leadership of youth and women and civil society organizations on the issue of Abyei area. We are confident that the issue of Abyei Area shall not only remain a nonpartisan national issue but it will always be a rallying point for the people of South Sudan to show their national unity and solidarity in embracing the Abyei area within South Sudan.

Indeed we take this day as an opportunity to thank the international community for the humanitarian assistance it has provided to our displaced population. We call on the whole of the international community to ensure the immediate withdrawal of the SAF from our lands, to bring an end to the continuous violations of our rights, assist sustainable return with dignity of all our displaced population, ensure humanitarian access to Abyei area from South Sudan and to ensure that the Government of Sudan implements its agreements with respect to our people.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Deng Arop Kuol, Abyei Area Chief Administrator: Email: dengarop81@yahoo.com.

Mr. Chol Changath, Abyei Area SPLM Secretary: Email: changath2005@yahoo.com

Dr. Luka Biong, Kush Inc.: Email: lukabiongus@yahoo.com, Tel: +211911308196