Home | News    Sunday 23 September 2012

African mediation proposes referendum in Abyei and special status for nomads


September 22, 2012 (LONDON) — The African Union mediation proposed to organise a referendum in October 2013 in the disputed Abyei area but said the parties have to agree on a number of measures to restore confidence and guarantee customary rights of the Misseriya herders.

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People displaced by fighting in Abyei wait to be registered at a UN WFP distribution point in the village of Abathok May 19, 2008. (Reuters)

Abyei’s ownership is one of the most important issues that Sudan and South Sudan are discussing in Addis Ababa where a special summit is organised on Sunday 23 September between the presidents of the two countries to decide on a proposal forged by the mediation.

The main idea of the mediation that Abyei, in accordance with the peace agreement of 2005, is supposed to be a bridge between North and south Sudan but in fact it was a source tension and a factor of division during the interim period.

It also represents a threat to the ultimate goal of the process which is the establishment of two friendly and viable states in Sudan and South Sudan.

To preserve peace and promote good relations between the two nations the African Union mediation proposed in an initiative, seen by Sudan Tribune to presidents Omer Al-Bashir and Salva Kiir containing a number of measures to build confidence and to hold a referendum within one year.

Before this referendum, the parties have to clearly commit themselves to a number of issues allowing to preserve Ngok Dinka’s right in Abyei as "historical land" and "the historic role of the Misseriya" in Abyei whatever the outcome of the referendum is.

The mediation pointed out that this "historic role" means to establish a soft border between Abyei and the neighbouring states of Southern Kordofan and South Sudan in order to protect Misseriya’s rights of residing in the Area and to enable the free movement of people, livestock and good in both directions.

"South Sudan shall also guarantee by law the customary rights of all pastoralists to migrate, and utilize pasture and water, within South Sudan in accordance with their traditional seasonal migratory routes," the mediation said in its proposition.

The mediation says that the two parties, before the referendum also have to implement the 20 June 2011 agreement and to establish the interim administration. South Sudan’s demand to appoint a speaker from the Ngok Dinka delayed the process.

The African panel details also a number of points dealing with economic development and sharing of oil revue after the referendum where South Kordofan state will get 20% of the revenue of oil produced in Abyei.

It further proposes that Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) continues until the implementation of the referendum decision.

The committee will assist the referendum commission once formed in its duties and to oversee the implementation of the result of referendum .

The AJOC, on the other hand, shall form a special force to protect Diffra oil fields. Currently Sudan refuses to pull out its troops from the oil area because of the rebel activities in South Kordofan.


Regarding the vote of Abyei residents in the referendum to determine the future of the region on whether to remain in Sudan or to join South Sudan, it is proposed to give the chairmanship of the referendum body to an African personality agreed with the mediation.

Sudan and South Sudan will appoint two members from the two sides.

The two parties failed to agree over the formation of Abyei Area Referendum Commission because it has to determine who is eligible to take part in the vote.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 speaks about the Ngok Dinka and other Sudanese residents, as voters to determine the fate of the area. However, the two parties disagree over who from the pastoralists will participate.

Khartoum and Juba, with the support of the former U.S. envoy Scott Gration held a series of meeting in New York and Addis Ababa in October and November 2010 but they failed to agree on the participation of Misseriya herders who reside only several months in the area every year.

South Sudan says only the Misseriya residing permanently in Abyei can participate in the referendum .

The proposition made by the African Union provides that all the Ngok Dinka community and "other Sudanese residing in the Abyei Area” are entitled to vote in the referendum.

"The criterion for qualifying (the Sudanese residents) shall be permanent abode within the Abyei Area," the text of proposition says.


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  • 23 September 2012 10:00, by Dinkawarrior

    It should be July 9, 2013 according the to the mandatory of the CPA and those who are residing in Abyei area. CPA didn’t metioned the animals called Misseriya but those in live inside of Abyei. Also Blue Nile and South Kordufan must vote at the same time and the same day of July 9,2013 too.

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    • 23 September 2012 10:23, by Whortti Bor Manza

      DinkaWarrior, you are dead wrong. If referundum for Abyei were to be held today, the whole of Dinka Ngok would vote to remain in the North. Their forefathers did that several decades ago. Why did Deng Majok senior moved Abyei Kordofan instead of remaining in BGP? You claim to be the strongest tribe in Africa, why dont you liberate Abyei from the Arabs? Insults and blunt lies will solve nothing.

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    • 23 September 2012 10:26, by panchol

      What language is Abyei? Abyei is purely South Sudan either culturally and geographically.
      You can’t grab our land using force, oky? Junubin are not Junubin of 1970s.

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    • 23 September 2012 10:44, by Whortti Bor Manza

      S.Sudan is wasting time on Abyei. Prominent people of Abyei like Deng Alor(Ahamed Alor), Francis Deng, Mustafa Biong, Arop Bagatt and many others are just opportunists fooling President Kiir in order to enmass wealth at the expence of South Sudanese. They are of double standard. Remember what Francis Deng said to the IDPs in Jebel Aulia Kht in 2000. These guys move with the wind.

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      • 24 September 2012 08:16, by Paul Ongee

        Ya Whortti Bor Manza & Jalaby,
        It’s Jalaby who is insulting the rightful owners of Abyei. It’s you and your Islamists in Khartoum wasting time. Abyei will never be part of Sudan. Believe me or not. Mark my word and record it for history purpose for the next generation of Sudanese Islamists. When Abyei was transferred to South Kordofan in 1905, did you consult with historians that Messeriya were

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        • 24 September 2012 08:16, by Paul Ongee

          living in Abyei or moving to Abyei seasonally to graze their cattle?
          The AU mediation effort cannot even force Messeriya tribes to be “residents” or “other residents” as stipulated in the CPA when it comes to voting in the Abyei Referendum. Messeriya has already lost the chance of being “other residents” by refusing to live in Abyei permanently since 1905 instead of seasonal migration for pasture

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          • 24 September 2012 08:18, by Paul Ongee

            This is the area where mediation fails to address despite the granted full rights to graze their cattle.

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    • 23 September 2012 12:58, by NO PEACE

      your english is not clear to us please and the referedum for abyei will be the God will do it not human being.

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      • 23 September 2012 18:25, by Tiger

        I know that this is so tricky from the N.Sudan government to push their nomad Misseriyah tribe agenda to participate in Abyei referendum and try to block the determination of Abyei people and make them to be remain in the North.i urge Abyei residents to be very vigilant in daily basis to report to the UN if they see some new comers moving into Abyei.

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    • 23 September 2012 23:04, by Manyieldit

      Look at bias AU, what is the reason of pay 20% of Oil from Abyei to South Khordufan after Referendum? where in the world is this happening, to share your resources with other country but they are not sharing theirs with you?

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  • 23 September 2012 10:06, by Jalaby

    It’s no more than bullshit, Ali Osman Taha gave Abyei to Jonobean in Nivasha agreement in 2005 and mentioned Dinka Ngok in name when it comes to who will vote for the referendum while never mentioned Myseria in name!
    Abyei is north in 1956 border no doubt but this man gave it to Jonobean for free!
    My advice to Al-Bashir, never make Ali Osman your successor when you retire

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    • 23 September 2012 10:15, by Jalaby

      in the coming election because no doubt this man will hand you over to Hague court as soon as the west put just few pressure on him if he becomes Sudan president!
      I personally believe in Dr. Gazy Salah Eldeen to become our next president! Al-Bashir & Ali Osman put us in this catastrophe, separated the south for free and didn’t even determine where our border is?!!!

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      • 23 September 2012 10:32, by Gabriel KK

        There will be no peace in Sudan until the end of this centuery because your Country is being govern by corrupt criminals.

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        • 23 September 2012 11:48, by Northern Sudanese

          Gabriel KK
          corrupt criminals? what about those who stole 4 bilion and refuse to feed more than halve of the south sudanese???

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      • 23 September 2012 18:58, by Tambura

        Missiriya have no right in Abyei, who will allow them to right in south Sudan history Will not forgive anybody will do that. Arab jarab came to sudan without women to sell their salt, we gave them our daughter for free. Missirya will suffer let them stay....

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  • 23 September 2012 10:15, by Malou Manyiel

    Am not happy at all with these propositions, especially on the oil. How can 20% of the oil produce in Abyei be given to South Kordufan even after referendum? How can 20% revenue or wealth from another counry be given to the other country even if we share many things in common? This is madness by the mediation.

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    • 23 September 2012 12:47, by panchol

      Malou Manyiel.
      Hopelessly, NCP will not accept referendum to be conducted in Abyei though they have signed.
      Only NCP is well known by sabotages,using insergencies to distablised the the area.
      Still we South Sudan will pay ultimately price which we paid in the last two decades.
      Mark my words.

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  • 23 September 2012 10:23, by Gabriel KK

    This is the right chance for Dinka Ngok people to decide thier future. they can decide either to be free or to remain as slaves in their own land. Misseriya residents on the other hand must use this last chance to forge a lasting relationship with Dinka people in order for them to enjoy pastures in Abyei.

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  • 23 September 2012 10:29, by Land-of-Cush

    The AU proposal about Abyei referendum is fevor only Sudan goverment but not South Sudan, all Arab tribs will joins up to vote and win Abyei to North Sudan. But no worry Ngundeng predictions will happen to win back Abyei to South Sudan.

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    • 23 September 2012 10:38, by Gabriel KK

      Land of Cush,
      The number of Misseriya residents in Abyei known. No Ngundeng in South Sudan but GOD ALMIGHTY.

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      • 23 September 2012 10:49, by Land-of-Cush

        Gabriel KK
        Turn your mouth back to Abayei but not Ngundeng Ok?

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  • 23 September 2012 13:56, by E. Defense Forces
  • 23 September 2012 14:06, by Mapuor

    HAAAAA,Deng Majok,why?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!You left Bahr El Gazal and join Kordufan at will.You hated Dinka Twic and Malual geernyang.Majority of those who fell at Abiei are Twic and Malual!!!!!!!!!!!!.Any ways,Deng Majok is dead his sons highly educated and do not go to battlefields,they only talk and that costs them nothing but gainig positions in both Sudan and South.Sons of martyres are street

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    • 23 September 2012 14:11, by Mapuor

      children in Aweil and Kuajok.How long will this community confuse the South.We South Sudanes need peace and we united voluntarily.Abeie people hated the South and decided to go to Kordufan,why hold South Sudan hostage to the will of Ngok dinka?

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  • 23 September 2012 19:40, by ViVa Sudan


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  • 23 September 2012 22:09, by panom lualbil

    ’Referendum is the way to go’ AU’s mediators were right.
    In fact, citizens of abyei deserve right to choose where they want to go, not where they are force to go. Misseria and Ngok are DINKA who belong to S Sudan, no matter what. Why relinguish Panthou, Khartoum and Abyei when DINKAS were the ones who lived and named them b4 ARABS arrived in ???

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  • 23 September 2012 22:38, by JAMES KUOI STEPHEN

    I encourage African Union mediatatorS who had expressed their most concern to bring all concept together for Abyei people to chose their acients belong.Dinka is not divided as we are hope for better proseprity vote,in the 2013.However,mediatators should warn government of Northern Sudan to stop interruption,when the time will come to vote.Otherwise,African Union are follow the true systemic of CPA

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  • 24 September 2012 01:49, by Kenyan the cushite

    Every territory thats rightfully belongs to the black Africans of Sudan should be clawed back. how did it come to be that people pretending to be arabs can harass INDEGINOUS blacks. the SPLM, JEM, SLA, SPLM/N should do its job.depose the racist and genocidal NCP and hang Bashir, hussein, Musa hilal and all those generals and militia that killed millions of africans in the public square.justice

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    • 24 September 2012 08:01, by Luethee Ngong Anyoun

      Hi, Au, what you have proposed now is out of the CPA singed in 2005 which gave the rights of nine Dinka Ngok only to vote and to own the chairmanship of the refrendum beucase the land belongs to Dinka Ngok . where do these people come from? ,Messariah they have no right completely to sit down with the dinka and negiotate the land that they are lacking historical back ground since the creature.

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