December 21, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan First Vice President announced on Thursday that West Darfur state will be soon reestablished as a separate territorial administrative entity during the celebrations of the independence day in January.
- Sudan’s First Vice President Ali Osman Taha (SUNA)
President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir abolished West Darfur state in August 2005, and established the greater South Kordofan while some of its territory was affected to North Kordofan state.
The measure was part of the provisions of a protocol related to the resolution of the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile state encompassed in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of January 2005 between the Sudanese government and the former South Sudanese rebels SPLM.
Speaking during the inauguration of Najma (star) oil fields in the western part of South Kordofan state Ali Osman Taha announce that the government has finalized the preparations to reestablish the West Kordofan state during the 57th anniversary of the independence, next January.
The ruling National Congress Party included the reinstatement of West Kordofan state among its electoral pledges for the elections of South Kordofan governor in May 2011. Since, a commission was set up to prepare the separation of the two states.
The West Kordofan is the home of Misseriya tribe and where are located the oil fields in the current South Kordofan.
During the first months of conflict in South Kordofan, some foreign envoys pressed Khartoum to re-divide South Kordofan into two states and to appoint the SPLM-N candidate Abdel Aziz Al-Hilu in South Kordofan while Ahmed Haroun be appointed governor of West Kordofan, before to hold a popular consultation there.
The disputed area of Abyei is also part of West Kordofan state.
The African Union mediation proposed last November to hold a referendum on the fate of Abyei next October but said only the Ngok Dinka and the Misseriya residing there can participate.
Khartoum rejected the proposal despite its endorsement by the African Union Peace and Security Council. The issue is be debated next January by the head of states members of this institution.