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Sudan NCP calls for postponement of Abyei referendum

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October 14, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The northern Sudan ruling party today said it is not possible to hold a referendum on the future of the oil producing region of Abyei as scheduled in next January, and called to negotiate on other alternatives including the delay of January vote.

JPEG - 17 kb
Sudan’s NCP delegation to Addis Ababa talks on the disputed Abyei speak during a press conference held after their return to Khartoum October 14, 2010. (Reuters)

The call comes after the failure of talks held in the Ethiopian capital between the two signatories of 2005 peace agreement, the National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), on who can participate in the referenda.

The Arab nomad tribe of Misseriya who used to graze their cattle in the area and some of them are settled in Abyei Wednesday rejected any political agreement reached between the NCP and SPLM and called for direct tribal talks with Dinka Ngok on the future of the region.

The cattle herders also said no referendum can take place without them, rejecting any compromise on this issue. The SPLM refuses the participation of Misseriya saying the nine chiefdoms or Abyei belongs to the Dinka Ngok.

"It is very obvious that right now it is not possible to hold the referendum in Abyei on January 9. The two parties have agreed on this regard", said Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed, a senior NCP member who is in charge of Abyei file on Thursday.

He expressed hopes to reach a settlement on the final status of the area and other outstanding issues between the two sides, adding that the vote will run into a number of problems if it goes ahead on that date.

The other two Sudanese government officials, presidential adviser Salah Abdealla Gosh and minister Jalal Yousef Al-Dagir, told the press that a delay on the date of the referendum can be reached.

Gosh who is the head of the NCP negotiating team in Addis Ababa talks reaffirmed Khartoum commitment to the referendum adding "but we can reach solutions outside the Abyei protocol and it is possible that we agree on delaying the referendum for three or four months".

Initially as agreed in the protocol Abyei people have to vote on January 9, 2011 on whether they want to remain part of the north or rejoin southern Sudan which can decide on the same day to establish an independent state.

Abyei chief administrator reacted angrily to these statements saying the population of Abyei might take the initiative to organize their own referendum.

"The people in Abyei will have some options, like organising their own referendum and invite the international community to monitor it," said the head of Abyei administration Deng Arop Kuol, who is also a member of the southern Sudan ruling party, SPLM.

From Washington, the State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said his administration believes "that the referendum can still happen on time, but that does require, when these talks reconvene on October 27, that the parties reach agreement on the Abyei referendum even as they continue working on preparations for the referendum on Southern Sudan".

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has appointed a three-member panel to monitor the referendum, at the request of the two Sudanese parties. Headed by Benjamin Mkapa, the panel is visiting currently the country to assess the ongoing preparations.

In a meeting held today in New York, the Security Council stressed its support for "the timely holding of the referendum in South Sudan and ensure compliance with all agreements concerning the region".

US Ambassador to the United Nations told the meeting that the Security Council delegation during its visit to Sudan last week held a meeting with civil society and religious officials. "The mission members had heard more concerns over meeting the tight timetable for the referendum, especially as regarded arrangements in the contended Abyei area, and more concerns that the north was "beating the drums of war", Ms. Rice said.

(ST)

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  • 15 October 2010 09:01, by Angelo Achuil

    "Strength is better than truth" - this is the basis of Messiriya’s claim of Abyei.

    For decades, Dinka Ngok had allowed them to come on seasonal basis in search of pasture for their cattle - taking this privileges for granted for so long, they now claim that Abyei (name of a tree in Dinka) belong to them and that they must vote on 2011 Referenudm. on what basis can they vote? On the basis of having roamed around the land for years. What a pathetic claim!

    Assuming that I had been living in your house without paying fees for years and one day you are deciding what to do with the house, and I say that you must seek my approval to proceed - what a show of arrogance is that? The only explanation is that I may be literally insane or believes that I am stronger to rob you, period. Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) had made their ruling last year (infavor of Dinka Ngok) after long study of history of Abyei but the Arab Nomads said they won’t hear any of it. What else is left to tell them? Time will tell.

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    • 15 October 2010 10:48, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

      Dear Sudanese,

      We’re for a trek to another war with Arabs due to Abyei referendum. I wonder why I don’t hear a word from those sons and daughters of abyei. Does it mean they ready for joining the Arab government?
      The issue of Abyei needs full commitment from all southerners because Arabs just like to own it due its oil richness.

      repondre message

    • 16 October 2010 00:45, by Paul Ongee

      Ya Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed, Salah Gosh and Jalal Yousif,

      I know all of you are members of the technical committee formed recently to make separation difficult for Southern Sudanese although the two options —separation or unity —are stipulated in the CPA. All of you see separation option as a crime but not as freedom and inalienable right of marginalized Southern Sudanese. You cannot pretend that you haven’t read CPA carefully. Insanely, you are simply echoing what has been repeatedly declared by senior members of your National Criminal Party (NCP). You are just frustrated over the effort of keeping Sudan united on old basis.

      I am not surprised by the baseless claim that SPLM and NCP would agree on postponement of holding referenda on January 9, 2011 because perhaps Messeriya (the Northern nomads) no longer want to be citizens of Kordofan but citizens of Abyei which was historically part of Bahr El-Ghazal. Tell us clearly or the world that Messeriya want to give up their nomadic life in Kordofan and need to be citizens of Abyei. Neither you nor Messeriya will still lose in the end. If you know pretty well that Messeriya were not citizens of Abyei before or after the historical administrative shift to Kordofan, then what do you think Messeriya would vote for in the upcoming referenda of South Sudan and Abyei? How many kinds of agreements needed to be agreed on besides the ones agreed upon in Nairobi (2005) and The Hague (PCA) last year?

      This intentional engagement of SPLM in useless renegotiation of CPA represents the old mentality of Khartoum that will soon be out of Sudan’s political arena. This abortive attempt of abrogating CPA is just a normal thing for any frustrated members, ministers or advisors from NCP camp. I expect all supporters of NCP from top to bottom or vice versa to show their true hidden colors over the next three months that South has already gone because of your failure to appreciate cultural diversity and religious differences. If Khartoum plans to recognize the referendum results through the barrel of a gun, let it go ahead but South Sudan is already in a position to achieve its independence and defend itself.

      The issue of the upcoming referendum on self-determination is for Southerners to be free and independent from Islamic dominated-North. Unity on old basis will never be imposed on Southerners as Islamic Sharia law was done in 1983 mainly to "divide and rule" and exploit the resources of Southern Sudan. Unity in diversity can be accommodated better through secularism than the Arab League-backed Islamic Sharia law that humiliates other people with different cultures and religious beliefs. If you cannot do a research to keep Sudan united on new basis, then Islamize and Arabize the North with the Islamic supreme law that Southerners do not need it.

      Remember that South Sudan has already gone with its resources. Beating the drum of war through Messeriya, Ambororo, LRA, or other tribes will never keep Sudan united on old basis. The only option left for NCP is to start creating awareness on the State-controlled media that South Sudan has already gone instead of bribing innocent black Southerners campaigning for unity on national media. The only responsibility left for NCP is to prepare Northerners or its supporters in particular how to learn about being good neighbors with Southerners comes January 9, 2011. After referndum South Sudan will be the 193rd country in the world. Check the next edition of geography text book next year.

      You cannot campaign for unity or separation WITHOUT REFERRING to the political history of the country that brought us here today. Why this country has repeatedly been at war by itself? Why Darfur is still burning? Why Sudan is irreversibly disintegrating. Why Islamic law (Sharia law) was introduced to marginalize people of different beliefs? Why National Criminal Party (NCP) and its likes afraid of the truth or unity on new basis that is stipulated in the CPA and will fail to violate this historical unique agreement (CPA) like the one of AAA 1972? Persistent attempt of abrogating this CPA only speeds up your exit from power for ever. Believe me or not.

      Khartoum is addicted historically to dishonoring political agreements. It ALWAYS agrees to disagree, signs peace deal NOT TO IMPLEMENT it in good faith but to frustrate the effort of implementation and later abrogate it. Non-Muslims are human beings created by God, deserve to be free and have every inalienable right even to govern Sudan. It seems that Prophet Mohamed forgot to teach his followers about accommodating citizens of the same country with diverse cultures besides tolerance and good governance.

      If tolerance or accommodation of different beliefs is in deed written in Qoran, then why Khartoum is adamantly threatening Southerners to vote for something already tried and never worked since 1956? This CPA is backed by the two historic wars of 1955 and 1983, loss of over two million lives, over 4 million IDPs, regional body and international community because it is the same Khartoum with its successive Islamic regimes that kept Southern Sudan politically, religiously, economically, culturally and socially humiliated and separated from Sudan.

      If the case of Southern Sudanese is not for freedom and inalienable rights, then why did Khartoum separate from the Anglo-Egyptian administration? Why did Khartoum even refuse to be part of Egypt leave alone Britain? Was it not because of being free in ones own country? Why did Khartoum threaten first to unilaterally declare independence (UDI) in the National Assembly before independence of 1956?

      As Anglo-Egyptian administration only demarcated the borderlines, it was the responsibility of Khartoum to make the effort of bridging the religious and cultural differences so that Sudan remains united on equal basis. Every citizen has inalienable right to be free by whatever means. It doesn’t make sense to threaten us southerners in particular. We only need cooperation on important issues that matter to us on both sides of the borderlines and to be good neighbors.

      National Criminal Party (NCP) needs to realize that the Anglo-Egyptian administration didn’t threaten any citizens or use Messeriya or other nomads of the North Sudan when Khartoum demanded for historic freedom and independence through peaceful means. Yes, if we’re to engage in the culture of intimidation, I personally warn Khartoum not play with inalienable rights and freedom of Southern Sudanese wherever they are. Believe me or not. Long live SPLM/A. Struggle continues.

      Paul Ongee
      Khartoum, Sudan

      repondre message

  • 15 October 2010 09:02, by Gatwech

    Dear readears,

    The situation about Abyei is potentially dangerous and can reignite the war between north and south any time unless mature decisions are taken by the two parties.

    I wonder why people like Dr. Francis Mading Deng, whose grandfather was responsible for trading Abyei to the north in 1905, is not heard of to talk about the future of his ancestral land.

    Abyei remains a hotspot and the most highly educated and experienced Abyeans like Dr. Francis Mading Deng should not keep quite and continue to entertain the NCP during this critical phase for Abyei.

    repondre message

  • 15 October 2010 10:08, by Kur William

    Who change the article under CPA that Abyei will not held it referendum simultineaously with South ? If there is any clique having that thought to adjorn the referendum of Abyei to some length of time we will take those gruop of breachin to bury CPA.

    Abyei must hold it referendum on time without none Dinka Ngok people whether this process will leader us into terminus of the agreement and cause the war for 100 years we will pay a price.

    Anyway we have no big guns to preserve our gold right of Abyei but we will use our forefathers spears to contronts these Arabs criminals from taking over our land and it resoursces.

    Conjunction to what Gatwech said in his comment about silence of DR Francis mading Majok have no great effect to secure this move the tactkling of Abyei issues dose not needs persauding words at this tip to fall off. Kur

    repondre message

  • 15 October 2010 10:21, by Mr Point

    The NCP signed this agreement:
    Simultaneously with the referendum for Southern Sudan, the residents of Abyei will cast a separate ballot. The proposition voted on in the separate ballot will present the residents of Abyei with the following choices, irrespective of the results of the southern referendum:
    ? That Abyei retain its special administrative status in the north;
    ? That Abyei be part of Bahr el Ghazal

    There has been six years to prepare for the Abyei referendum. It is too late to say "more time is needed".

    repondre message

  • 15 October 2010 12:34, by okucu pa lotinokwan

    National Criminal Party are using the poor Misseriya tribe as their escape goat,the Misseriya wait for your death sam 9 know nothing,but those of Dridri and Gondur will escape all these while the poor Misseriya will be the Victim,God forbid.

    OKUCU PA LOTINOKWAN

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  • 15 October 2010 13:01, by DASODIKO

    The following are the plans of NCP to hamper the CPA implementation through Abyei:

    1.The National Congress Party they don’t want seperation of South Sudan, after they discovered that they foooled themselves instead of people of South Sudan as they expected.

    2. NCP to say that they gave up impelementing the CPA or will not accept the inevitable session of South Sudan, and they well know the result of such act, then they started giving stupid excuses by role playing which has nothing to do with CPA.

    3. At last they want to engage SPLM/A in a war but NCP want the SPLM/A to be the first to begin. Such act will have the following consequences:
    a. International community requests to stop hostilities; and this will take weeks or months.
    b. SPLM/A will find itself automatically renegociating the CPA.
    C. On the other hand the time scheduled for the referandum is also exteneded due to processes of disengagement process.
    4. At last resort the NCP will get in war before the deployment of UNSC troops in the boarder between the North and the South Sudan even if the SPLM/A is not willing; because deployment of the forces on the boaders means dead chance for NCP to start proxy war through Arab tribes boadering South Sudan then smooth independent of the South Sudan will take palce.

    5.The war before the deployment of forces for the buffer zone at least will give releif for the NCP memebers and people in the north that there might be other things coming like renegicating power sharing with the South. Also at leat passengers of the CPA may miss the train, and then wait to look for another trian with less passengers. Referandum is legalization of the indepenedent of the Spouth Sudan, and if there is another war of boaders coming would be a war between two countries not centeral government and the region as it was to be.
    Kiir, SPLM/A leaders watch out men!!!! Blessed are those who fight to get free!!!

    repondre message

    • 16 October 2010 00:44, by Paul Ongee

      Ya Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed, Salah Gosh and Jalal Yousif,

      I know all of you are members of the technical committee formed recently to make separation difficult for Southern Sudanese although the two options —separation or unity —are stipulated in the CPA. All of you see separation option as a crime but not as freedom and inalienable right of marginalized Southern Sudanese. You cannot pretend that you haven’t read CPA carefully. Insanely, you are simply echoing what has been repeatedly declared by senior members of your National Criminal Party (NCP). You are just frustrated over the effort of keeping Sudan united on old basis.

      I am not surprised by the baseless claim that SPLM and NCP would agree on postponement of holding referenda on January 9, 2011 because perhaps Messeriya (the Northern nomads) no longer want to be citizens of Kordofan but citizens of Abyei which was historically part of Bahr El-Ghazal. Tell us clearly or the world that Messeriya want to give up their nomadic life in Kordofan and need to be citizens of Abyei. Neither you nor Messeriya will still lose in the end. If you know pretty well that Messeriya were not citizens of Abyei before or after the historical administrative shift to Kordofan, then what do you think Messeriya would vote for in the upcoming referenda of South Sudan and Abyei? How many kinds of agreements needed to be agreed on besides the ones agreed upon in Nairobi (2005) and The Hague (PCA) last year?

      This intentional engagement of SPLM in useless renegotiation of CPA represents the old mentality of Khartoum that will soon be out of Sudan’s political arena. This abortive attempt of abrogating CPA is just a normal thing for any frustrated members, ministers or advisors from NCP camp. I expect all supporters of NCP from top to bottom or vice versa to show their true hidden colors over the next three months that South has already gone because of your failure to appreciate cultural diversity and religious differences. If Khartoum plans to recognize the referendum results through the barrel of a gun, let it go ahead but South Sudan is already in a position to achieve its independence and defend itself.

      The issue of the upcoming referendum on self-determination is for Southerners to be free and independent from Islamic dominated-North. Unity on old basis will never be imposed on Southerners as Islamic Sharia law was done in 1983 mainly to "divide and rule" and exploit the resources of Southern Sudan. Unity in diversity can be accommodated better through secularism than the Arab League-backed Islamic Sharia law that humiliates other people with different cultures and religious beliefs. If you cannot do a research to keep Sudan united on new basis, then Islamize and Arabize the North with the Islamic supreme law that Southerners do not need it.

      Remember that South Sudan has already gone with its resources. Beating the drum of war through Messeriya, Ambororo, LRA, or other tribes will never keep Sudan united on old basis. The only option left for NCP is to start creating awareness on the State-controlled media that South Sudan has already gone instead of bribing innocent black Southerners campaigning for unity on national media. The only responsibility left for NCP is to prepare Northerners or its supporters in particular how to learn about being good neighbors with Southerners comes January 9, 2011. After referndum South Sudan will be the 193rd country in the world. Check the next edition of geography text book next year.

      You cannot campaign for unity or separation WITHOUT REFERRING to the political history of the country that brought us here today. Why this country has repeatedly been at war by itself? Why Darfur is still burning? Why Sudan is irreversibly disintegrating. Why Islamic law (Sharia law) was introduced to marginalize people of different beliefs? Why National Criminal Party (NCP) and its likes afraid of the truth or unity on new basis that is stipulated in the CPA and will fail to violate this historical unique agreement (CPA) like the one of AAA 1972? Persistent attempt of abrogating this CPA only speeds up your exit from power for ever. Believe me or not.

      Khartoum is addicted historically to dishonoring political agreements. It ALWAYS agrees to disagree, signs peace deal NOT TO IMPLEMENT it in good faith but to frustrate the effort of implementation and later abrogate it. Non-Muslims are human beings created by God, deserve to be free and have every inalienable right even to govern Sudan. It seems that Prophet Mohamed forgot to teach his followers about accommodating citizens of the same country with diverse cultures besides tolerance and good governance.

      If tolerance or accommodation of different beliefs is in deed written in Qoran, then why Khartoum is adamantly threatening Southerners to vote for something already tried and never worked since 1956? This CPA is backed by the two historic wars of 1955 and 1983, loss of over two million lives, over 4 million IDPs, regional body and international community because it is the same Khartoum with its successive Islamic regimes that kept Southern Sudan politically, religiously, economically, culturally and socially humiliated and separated from Sudan.

      If the case of Southern Sudanese is not for freedom and inalienable rights, then why did Khartoum separate from the Anglo-Egyptian administration? Why did Khartoum even refuse to be part of Egypt leave alone Britain? Was it not because of being free in ones own country? Why did Khartoum threaten first to unilaterally declare independence (UDI) in the National Assembly before independence of 1956?

      As Anglo-Egyptian administration only demarcated the borderlines, it was the responsibility of Khartoum to make the effort of bridging the religious and cultural differences so that Sudan remains united on equal basis. Every citizen has inalienable right to be free by whatever means. It doesn’t make sense to threaten us southerners in particular. We only need cooperation on important issues that matter to us on both sides of the borderlines and to be good neighbors.

      National Criminal Party (NCP) needs to realize that the Anglo-Egyptian administration didn’t threaten any citizens or use Messeriya or other nomads of the North Sudan when Khartoum demanded for historic freedom and independence through peaceful means. Yes, if we’re to engage in the culture of intimidation, I personally warn Khartoum not play with inalienable rights and freedom of Southern Sudanese wherever they are. Believe me or not. Long live SPLM/A. Struggle continues.

      Paul Ongee
      Khartoum, Sudan

      repondre message

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