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Abyei youth backs up SPLM rejection to Missiriya representation

July 6, 2012 (KUACJOK) – Youth leadership from the contested border region of Abyei on Friday threw “unwavering supports” behind the stance of the South Sudan’s governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) against representation of the rival Arab nomads of Missiriya in the local administration.

“As youth, our unwavering support to the SPLM leadership is unequivocal. We have never minced words over representation of the Missiriya in the Abyei administration,” Arop Deng Biong, an executive member of Abyei Youth Association said.

Even during six years of period of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) Biong said that they did not see “any reason” for the Misseriya to be involved in the administration of Abyei.

Biong based his argument on the July 22, 2009 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) and the 2005 CPA, which he said limits the definition of Abyei area to a territory inhabited by Nine Ngok Chiefdoms transferred to Kordofan in central Sudan in 1905, from the Bahr el Ghazal region in the South.

“If you have read carefully Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the 2009 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, you will agree with me that the two documents do not mention Misseriya as one of the indigenous clans or a section of the Nine Ngok Chiefdom”, he said

The youth leader made the remark in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Friday during which he explained that Missiriya are “only mentioned in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration as “nomads” who comes to the area with their cows, looking for water and pastures during a limited period of three to four months in a year and return to their areas when rains come. They are found in areas around Muglad onward. So it surprises a lot when international community support claims of the Sudanese government in Khartoum that gives them residence right in the area.”

Khartoum’s claim that the Misseriya were resident of Abyei and therefore should have voting rights in a referendum on the status of the area was rejected by the SPLM, scuppering the vote, which has still not taken place.

The status of Abyei and other border areas are under discussion between the two sides in Addis Ababa under African Union mediation. Oil and security are other issues that are expected to be discussed.

Biong said that it was “just a concession” to give the Misseriya 2% of the oil produced in Abyei adding that it was not grounded on constitutional rights in the area since they do not come from the region.

Lual Yol, a chairperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement Youth League (SPLM-YL) in the area added in a separate interview on Friday from Agok that youth will not accept any representation of the Missiriya in the future administration because he does not see logical grounds for which the nomads should be represented.

He, however, stated that they have no objection to representation of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party in the area if the representative comes from Ngok Dinka tribe. Yol called on the international community to intervene over the dispute involving the two countries over the ownership of the oil producing region.

“The people of Abyei have suffered a lot. Our people have undergone all kind of sufferings. We have seen our people killed and displaced in massive scale and the whole area burned down to ashes even during peace times and the international community takes no strong measure to bring to books those who have committed such heinous crimes against our people”, said Yol.

He called on countries with influential contacts with Sudan to pressure the government in Khartoum to accept peaceful dialogue and implementation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s 2009 ruling.

“The people of Abyei are [a] peace loving community. We love our culture and we love the nature of our environment. So we like living in peace with our neigbours and friends”, he explained.


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