Home | News    Saturday 14 May 2011

SPLM maintains inclusion of Abyei in South Sudan’s draft constitution


By Ngor Arol Garang

May 13, 2011 (ABYEI) — A senior member of the South Sudan’s ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), on Friday said his party maintains its position of including the contested region of Abyei in the draft transitional constitution of South Sudan

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A Sudanese celebrate the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on Abyei, central Sudan, July 22, 2009. (Photo Mckulka - UNMIS)

The South Sudan will become an independent state on 9 July 2011, after southerners overwhelmingly last January opted for secession from north Sudan. However, the failure to hold a referendum over the status of the Abyei region fuels tension and controversy not only between the north and the south but also among the ruling party and opposition forces in Juba.

In order to ease tension in the region after recent bloody clashes, Sudan’s first vice president and head of south Sudan government, Salva Kiir Mayadrit pledged in a meeting on 5 May with UN, US envoys and a member of AU panel on Sudan, to remove Abyei from the draft constitution of the would be Republic of South Sudan.

"The recommendation by the Constitutional Review Committee represents position of the SPLM on Abyei. The inclusion of Abyei in the transitional constitution of South Sudan has permissible terms", said Michael Makuei Lueth, minister of parliamentary affairs in the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Friday.

Makuei explained that the permissible terms which the technical constitutional review committee quoted in the inclusion of Abyei in the draft constitution of South Sudan was the existence of the presidency, which Abyei falls under the jurisdiction of, prior to declaration of the independence state of South Sudan.

"The inclusion of Abyei in the draft interim constitution of South Sudan was necessitated by the fact that parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement agreed that Abyei would be administered through the presidency with dual citizens in both North and South during the six years of interim period until when a referendum for citizens of the area to decide where to go is held", explained Makuei.

The senior member of the SPLM further argued that it was from this background that the technical committee found it a constitutional obligation to include the region in the draft constitution of the independent state of south Sudan as done by Khartoum in her new interim constitution.

"It was the Sudanese National Assembly which became the first to include Abyei in their interim constitution without consulting joint political committee of the two parties on what would be constitutional status Abyei under the pretext that it would still be administered through the presidency without considering that the presidency would not be there after the end of interim period. The article 183 of the interim constitution of Sudan includes Abyei under jurisdiction of the presidency", explained minister Makuei.

While the SPLM maintained its position to include Abyei in the draft constitution of south Sudan, 18 southern opposition political parties argued that Abyei should be removed from the constitution until a political resolution was reached through the post-referendum negotiations recommend that Abyei shall join the south Sudan.

"If the status of Abyei is resolved, through a referendum on self determination as provided in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement or through political resolution through the post referendum negotiations, and the decision is that Abyei shall be in South Sudan, then the Abyei area will automatically be included in the territory of south Sudan", explained leaders of the opposition parties in a document obtained by Sudan Tribune.

The opposition parties reacted vigorously against definition under article 2 of part 1 of the draft transitional constitution of South Sudan which includes Abyei.

"The territory of the Republic of South Sudan comprises all lands and air space that constituted the three former southern provinces of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria, and Upper Nile in their boundaries as they stood on January 1, 1956, and Abyei Area, the territory of the nine Ngok Dinka chiefdoms transferred from Bahr el Ghazal province to Kordofan province in 1905 as defined by the arbitration Tribunal Award of July 2009", reads part of the draft constitution of South Sudan under article 1-2.

The inclusion of Abyei in the draft constitution of South Sudan generated heated discussions with some seeking removal of the constitution from South Sudanese political circles, Some went to allege that the National Congress Party (NCP) of north Sudan has a hand in the proceedings. But, there is no evidence to back up such claim.

"I honestly do not understand what these so called south Sudanese political parties are up to. I do not really understand any single sense in their arguments because it appears they are using Abyei as a bargaining tool for SPLM to compromise on some of their demands," said Deng Thiep Akok, a senior member of the SPLM.

"They are failing to understand that Abyei belongs to the South by all sources of justifications", Akik emphasized, in a separate interview with Sudan Tribune from Juba, on Friday.

The north Sudan ruling party, including President Omer Al- Bashir, have voiced strong opposition to the inclusion of Abyei in the South Sudan constitution, claiming the region belongs to the north and that Khartoum would not recognize independent state of south Sudan should the south unilaterally decide to include it.


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  • 14 May 2011 09:03, by Dinka Dominated SPLA

    Thank you very much keep abyei Dinkas in our constituation no matter what those coward of Dr Riek machar and political opportunist opsition parties leaders said,
    death to opportunist gruops of Dr riek machar and opposition, Keep our brother with us no matter what will happen,

    repondre message

    • 14 May 2011 12:34, by ARIEL OTEGAH

      Abyei should not be left out in the draft constitution of south sudan but should it happen its big mistake to leave some Dinkas in the north better for fighting to continous .Arabs with their associated groups are ready to fight wether you leave Abyei out of the draft there will be fighting or including in the draft constitution war is there.

      Splm oyee,oyee

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    • 14 May 2011 19:36, by lakoda

      Mr. Dinka Dominated SPLA.

      I think your comment is not so good by pointing your finger to opposition party as wel as Dr. Riek Machar as if they were sizing with arab for Abyei issued, Riek him went to court don,t see he can have hand on that. We can thank South sudan government in general for thier decision not to remove Abyei in Constitution,. Let them come, South sudan is ever ready.
      Mr. don,t take it personal i,m just advising you that if there is any national issues, we better point to the enemies of South sudan.
      Thank you

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    • 14 May 2011 21:03, by Jada Lotole

      If you dont have a past, then you certainly dont have a future so said the then SPLM most and lovely charasmatic later leader Dr.John Garang !

      On mediatation upon that wise saying, I have come to a conclusion that the current SPLM leadership has lost a track ! they have forgotten their Past (CPA) and hence have no future ! Pitty ! Besides, the current SPLM leardership doesnt coordinate at all ! The Top men/women say one thing, and the low men/women say the other ! Shame on you !

      Abyei belongs to South Sudan ! and so we MUST let them formalise thier return by allowing them to vote or choose where to be admnistered period !

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  • 14 May 2011 09:18, by James Peter

    There is no way for Abyei to be exclude from South Sudan independece. It is better to cancel the independence of South. If NCP need war, we are ready for it.

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    • 14 May 2011 10:39, by Akot Akot

      Rommel, Do you really know what legal aspect of inclusion of Abyei in the Constitution of South Sudan. What legal justification do you have to include Abyei in the South Sudan constitution if you do not just blind of legal grounds.

      Legally, Abyei is in the north and it is part of the north and still in the north and it would be in the North until referendum is done for the natives of Abyei to demarcate their borders back from the North to the South. When the British colonial government demarcated the North South borders, Abyei was 5o years plus in the North.
      No legal claims here and that why referendum was inserted so that they decide.

      Akot Akot Dengdit

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      • 15 May 2011 08:09, by James Garang

        The Name of Akot Akot are seem as a Dinka name but is not a Dinka I realize him is a Jurbel in Lakes State that why he does not want Dinka Ngok citizens to come back to South Sudan through his hatred with Dinka. Kindly dear Southerners who love their brothers and sisters Dinka Ngok and land of the South Sudan let us go ahead with our programme to maintain Abyei in our draft transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan by all mean whether war or politically

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        • 21 July 2011 22:15, by DeltaBravo

          To James

          Akot Akot is not Jurbel, he is from Gok Arol Kachoul.

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    • 14 May 2011 11:14, by Kon Ajith Deng

      dear brothers
      Talking about included of Abyei in the South Sudan darft constitution,it will remind us many things,may be some individuals in SPLM, do not want independence of Southern Sudan,or they want war because of their allies in the north,or they want unity of Sudan,but,I think no way for all these nonsence,let them resolve Abyei,s problem with north first,Abyei was the north since 1905 and the border between the South and the north was 1965,where is Abyei here? and why is Abyei excluded in Sothern Sudan protecol?.Southern Sudanese made a every big problem,when they apointed ministers and advisers from Abyei in the GOSS,Abyei like Nuba and blue nile,let the wait for their protecol.

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  • 14 May 2011 10:29, by Makuei

    Hatred blidnfolded the NCP - while the National Criminal Party has Abyei in their constitution and the dont want the South to have it(Abyei)in their constitution - what a folly!!!!!!!

    Go SPLM!!

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    • 14 May 2011 11:05, by Born to Achieve


      That’s how NCP’s are, they are asking the South to exclude abyei while they already have abyei in their constitution,this is just a hypocrisy.

      I appreciate the SPLM for making this wise decision,because i believe if Abyei is not taken now before independance then abyei will go forever.

      As for so-called political parties are they really politicians or a bunch of gangs who are trying to look for a source of living in the name of political party?why are they tring to hinder the draft process?GOSS should reduce this number of parties to approximately 3 parties immediatly after independance.
      Abyei is 100% Southern terriotary.


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  • 14 May 2011 10:56, by mohammed ali

    Flip flop politics, the President says something to international diplomates then comes somebody junior something else.The credibility of the President is lost! Who is in charge?!

    There was no dual sitizentship during the interim period,, there was and still is only one citizentship until July!

    All of the world is seeking peace including the closest allies to the SPLA , but it seems that the SPLA has got another idea!

    If the north recognizes the new state with this constitution that means it is recognizing Abeyei as part of the south.This will not happen!

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    • 15 May 2011 08:31, by James Garang

      mohammed ali
      We cannot listen to the lies at this movement please let your government of North Sudan remove Abyei in your interim constitution and show to the world that you are removed Abyei from your constitution that where we can listen to removed Abyei in our constitution and we wait Abyei referendum to be done by Dinka Ngok citizens to chose where they will go. Despite your recognition on independent of South Sudan. without Abyei there is no need of independent of South Sudan

      repondre message

      • 16 May 2011 01:26, by mohammed ali


        All of Sudan is included in the constitution, even Juba and Nimuli! The border will be determined after July and Abeyei referundum.Up to this date it is the constitution of all of Sudan. Abeyeie is not included specificly but all of the south is included!

        Well , if you open the web site of the Hague arbiterisation court , you find who is lying. It is simple!

        repondre message

  • 14 May 2011 12:57, by Mr. Truthteller

    Dear brothers,

    I am sick of SPLM senior officials directly contradicting their own statements.

    The President Kiir strategically said Abyei will be removed from the transitional constitution. He knew what he meant even if he didn’t mean to lose Abyei.

    Now his junior official Makuei Lueth emotionally rushed in to contradict the president.

    What is going on people?

    I guess some people pretend to like Abyei when they don’t. May be they just want to cause a war situation that would spoil the smooth transition of the South to statehood. This will also make it difficult to defend Abyei with the international community on our side.

    Be wise in bringing back AByei and stop cowardic emotional outbusts that can only stop in your door step when the bad comes to worse.

    repondre message

  • 14 May 2011 16:45, by Martin Muong

    There is no removal of Abyei from Southern Sudan constitution no matter what it take period.

    repondre message

  • 14 May 2011 19:41, by lakoda

    Thanks Presendent Silva Kiir for your decision.
    Let them come.

    repondre message

    • 14 May 2011 20:36, by mohammed ali


      Which decision you mean, the first to include , the second to exclude or the third to re-include Abeyei in the constitution?

      repondre message

      • 14 May 2011 23:26, by Marco A. Wek

        Mohammed Ali, it is a matter of time when what is rightfully belonging to the South will be taken by the South Sudanese by whichever means possible.

        North Sudan knows this that there is no way they could take whatever belonging to the South Sudan and get away with it. It can’t happen and it will not happen. It is just a matter of time.

        repondre message

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