Home | News    Friday 6 May 2011

U.S. & AU express concern over situation in Sudan’s Abyei


May 5, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The United States and the African Union (AU) today voiced concern over the growing tensions in the oil-rich region of Abyei that lies on the borders of North and South Sudan.

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FILE - A UNMIS peacekeeper patrol on APC in Abyei, Sothern Sudan, Friday, March 11, 2011 (AP)

South Sudan will become an independent state in July after the referendum that took place earlier this year resulted in a landslide vote in favor of splitting from the rest of the country.

But the dispute over Abyei remained a sticking point along with other post-referendum arrangements that are still being negotiated.

Abyei residents were supposed to have a referendum in January over whether to join the north or south. Disagreement over who is eligible to vote derailed that ballot and talks over the status of the region have stalled.

"The United States remains deeply concerned about the alarming situation in the Abyei region of Sudan. U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan Ambassador Princeton Lyman met jointly with African Union High-Level Implementation Panel Member President Pierre Buyoya as well as UN Special Representative for the – of the Secretary General for Sudan Haile Menkerios, and Sudanese First Vice President Salva Kiir this morning on this issue," U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Thursday.

"Recent actions by both parties to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement run counter to President Bashir and President Kiir’s agreement to resolve the situation peacefully through negotiation and with the assistance of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel. The introduction of armed forces into Abyei by both sides violates the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and recently resulted in a violent clash in which Southern forces apparently killed at least 11 members of the Northern Joint Integrated Unit," he added.

This week a Sudanese army convoy clashed with Southern forces in Abyei resulting in the death of 14 people, according to UN figures. Both sides traded blame on who started the fighting.

The U.S. urged both sides to withdraw their troops from the contested area in line with previous accords signed.

"We welcome the May 5th agreement by the National Congress Party and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to immediately implement the Kadugli Agreements and to withdraw illegal troops from Abyei, and urge both sides to act expeditiously to carry out this agreement," the U.S. state department spokesperson said.

The African Union (AU) in a separate statement echoed the U.S. sentiments and said that the violence occurred as a result of failing to implement Kadugli accord stressing that any "unauthorized force" should be withdrawn.

A statement by the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said that its chief Haile Menkerios got pledges from North and South to implement the agreements signed. He met with South Sudan president Salva Kiir in Juba today.

“The two parties have committed that the Kadugli and Abyei Agreements shall be carried out with the facilitation and participation of the UN. UNMIS will also support the containment and temporary security measures while a solution is being sought. We have agreed here to immediately move on it,” Menkerios said after the meeting.

Complicating the situation is the move by South Sudan government to assert that Abyei is part of the new state in its constitution. Last week, Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir said he would not recognize south Sudan as an independent state if it that occurred and said he is prepared to go to war on Abyei.

The U.S. at the time criticized Bashir’s remarks saying that they fuel tensions further.


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  • 6 May 2011 08:44, by Mr. Truthteller

    US and AU should really advise South Sudan not to prematurely add Abyei to South Sudan’s constitution. The position is illegally unilateral and provocative. Bashir recognized South Sudan independence as it stood on 1/1/1956, and not with Abyei annexed. That is a big difference.

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    • 6 May 2011 09:12, by Kolnyang youth

      U.S is now becoming a toothless dog about Sudan problem since the beginning of war liberation struggle of South Sudan and so concern about arabs countries like libya .


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    • 6 May 2011 10:10, by James Peter


      I’m sure your traitors rebells should be expel sound by bashier after independence of Southern Sudan. Bashier just only supporting rebells to get Abyei and United state for oil. Don’t be mislead by arab because it is their natural. They just like to talk but not action. I’m sure if Bashier wage war against South, it will be the end of his leadership in Khartoun. The SPLA has power to capture Khartoun within days. So, my friend, please, stay away from Arab or you will facing nothing but death while Arab still enjoy the world.

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    • 6 May 2011 14:48, by Quintino

      There is actually nothing new the U.S. and AU can advice South Sudan to do as far as the status of Abyei is concerned. People well versed in Sudanese geo-politics know how where does Abyei belongs and how it was annexed to South Kordofan. To refresh your mind Abyei was annexed to Kordofan by an "Administrative Order in 1905". That is by the then Colonial government purely for administrative convenience. It was not the choice of the 9 Dinka Ngok people. Therefore a same "administrative Order" can be issued by the Sudan Government. This was rejected during the negotiations that calminated to the signing of the CPA. The result was the adoption of the American proposal to break the deadlock. This U.S, proposal came to be the Six Protocol (Abyei Protocol).

      Since the NCP renege on the implementation of this protocol and its insistence that ’Abyei remains north’ then what is there to advice other than wsting time?

      The inclusion of Abyei in the ’Interim Constitution’ of the Republic of South Sudan is not a reaction to Al Bashirs’ Muglad declaration. It is the feeling of South Sudanese in general, the people of Bahr el Ghazal in particular and the Abyei Ngok 9 chifdoms. Take it or better look for other foras of discussions.

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  • 6 May 2011 09:06, by Chier Akueny

    Dear Truth-teller,
    Abyei was added to Kordofan by the same Arabs, so it would never for them to take Abyei when it is part of South Sudan originally. Remember, it would be difficult to find that Dinka Ngok is for North. What Bashir wants is not people,or mere land but oil and remember oil is on land of Upper Nile, which Heglig apart from the main one of Abyei but NCP wants both of them.

    Would that one be possible to give our land and resources because fearing the fighting?

    Please stop some negative responses for surely if it happens for you to be a sound-minded person.



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    • 6 May 2011 10:32, by Cibaipiath Junub Sudan

      An enemy of the South is not a Truthteller. This is hstory. History Described Abyei as transferred to SK in 1905 and it is history itself that demands as part of the South and should be transferred back to the South. I do not see any reason of pushing away Abyei from the South.

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  • 6 May 2011 10:30, by Lo Isu


    In Juba currently Dinka have resorted to climbing to the top of telecommunications masks and demand that the president pays them ransom to meet their family requirements lest they jump to their death.

    Interestingly the president and his cronies condone such by paying them off.In fact, from October 2010 to date 4 people have successfully been paid off by Mr President.

    The worst occurred yesterday around kololo where an SPLA major climbed the mask and asked the government to mediate for the return of his wife whom the in laws had taken for his failure to feed her and the children. The dude tabled for thousands of pounds from the government.

    When will this people learn to be responsible?

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  • 6 May 2011 14:24, by Chanson

    Lo Isu.how do that thing came into contaction with Abyei issue? It seem that your head failed to reason.Please if you got nothing to contribute to the article then suck your tongue and lean back.

    Back to the point.Abyei belong to 9 Ngok Dinkaz despite of transfer that took place in 1905.The transfer took place because there was unity among Sudan itself but now it,s time for us to bring our Town back to the South.

    Abyei will not remain behind no matter what.That is the deal.

    Jah bless.

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