Home | News    Wednesday 11 September 2013

Abyei citizens want referendum to go ahead despite Sudan’s rejection


September 10, 2013 (JUBA) – Representatives from various civil society and faith-based organisations from the contested Abyei region took to the street on Tuesday to protest the failure of Sudan and South Sudan to agree on a date for a proposed referendum, warning that they would decide their own destiny if the two sides continued to stall.

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Hundreds of southern Sudanese take part in a demonstration against northern Sudan’s military incursion into the border town of Abyei in Juba Monday May 23, 2011 (File AP)

Protesters in Abyei town carried posters calling on the international community to stand behind their decision to control their own fate, calling for an immediate summit between South Sudanese president Salva Kiir Mayardit and his Sudanese counterpart, Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, to reach an agreement on the referendum and set a date.

Deng Ajing Mijak, a member of Abyei youth council, said the protest was held to send a clear message to the international community and the two leaders on the necessity of holding a vote on whether the oil-producing region should be returned to South Sudan or remain a part of Sudan.

"The whole idea was to send out clear and simple message to the international community so that they should not only put pressure on the parties, especially Khartoum, but demonstrate their willingness to stand with the people of Abyei. We need them to act", Mijak told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday by phone.

General Mario Kuol Monyluak, a senior member of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the area, said the people of Abyei would not accept any further delays on the conduct of the referendum.

"The issue of [the] referendum is now becoming a red line for the people of Abyei. It is the only issue in their minds and delaying it again would not be justifiable. It has now come at a time [when] our people do not listen to us anymore because there is nothing we have not told them", said Kuol, adding that the demonstration was peaceful and passed without incident.

"It was staged to send out a message calling for international support, especially putting enough pressure on the two leaders to hold [an] immediate summit so that they can agree on the date for the conduct of the referendum", he said.

Presidents Bashir and Kiir agreed in a meeting held last week in Khartoum to fully cooperate to implement the cooperation agreements of 27 September 2012 aiming to normalise bilateral relations between the two neighbouring countries.

However, they avoided to discuss Abyei referendum, as Khartoum insists on the formation of Abyei temporary institutions while South Sudanese officials from the disputed region refuse such step arguing that in line with decision of International Arbitration Tribunal, only the nine chiefdoms of the Dinka Ngok have the right to administrate their land.

In Juba, the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) held a press conference calling on the African Union (AU) to apply more pressure on the two leaders to come to an agreement, warning the vote would go ahead despite Sudan’s rejection of the proposal.

"There is nothing which will stop the people of Abyei from determining their fate. I would only appeal to all our people to maintain peace and do not trust or listen to lies coming out from Khartoum”, AJOC co-chair Edward Lino said in comments broadcast by the state-owned South Sudan Television (SSTV) on Tuesday.

"The future of the people of Abyei is in their hands. It is not with Khartoum. We have nothing to do them anymore", he added.

In Khartoum, Sudanese officials refuse any attempt to hold an unilateral vote. Sudan’s AJOC co-chair, Al-Khair Al-Faheem, has warned that any arrangements undertaken to hold a referendum independently would constitute an illegal act.

Last year, the African mediation led by Thabo Mbeki team proposed that a referendum be held in Abyei this October where only the Dinka Ngok and few Misseriya settled in the area will vote, but Khartoum rejected the proposal which is seen as supportive to position of the South Sudanese government.

This proposal would effectively bar the Arab Misseriya nomads, who enter Abyei periodically to graze their cattle, from taking part in the plebiscite, meaning the majority of voters would come from the South-aligned Dinka Ngok tribe.


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  • 11 September 2013 07:53, by Konkooc

    I urge the nine Dinka Ngok chiefdom that the only option if this referendum delayed second time by ncp then you need to form Abyei battalion and act accordingly.

    repondre message

    • 11 September 2013 08:35, by Big Boy

      Dear Koc
      You motherfucker, the battalion is not the case, you think they are not capable to have it, but remember life is good for you,that’s why you think abyei problem is only for abyei people’s while ur uncompetence Kiir filing their pocket with oil money and you don’t know! how to asked..

      repondre message

      • 11 September 2013 08:48, by Big Boy

        Let’s us say,abyeiis for abyei people and what about Borders now? as you have seen your leader’s are enjoying luxurious hotels and claim to be new born Nations.RSS has never contributed with one heart.while civ are dying the border with bombardm Now,those of yau yau and Lam are still with Khartoum claiming that they are Sudanese citizen and you, Why don’t you reconcile the different voices of splm

        repondre message

    • 11 September 2013 19:04, by Tiger

      Good suggestion brother.Abyei is like a small country within between Sudan and South Sudan,so honestly they should establish their own Millitia or small battalion to guard their own people along with their properties until the day they vote for referendum to decide their final decision and destination for their own future.

      repondre message

  • 11 September 2013 09:07, by Konkooc

    Wendit BB
    why you cry when saying Abyei Battalion, When family of Deng Majok took their administration to South Kordufan they did not consult whole South Sudan.the land of Abyei belong to South Sudan but the people of Abyei have a option to be a South Sudanese or a North Sudanese as some are already now in North claiming to be northerners.

    repondre message

  • 11 September 2013 09:24, by Konkooc

    Let them form Abyei Battalion like messiriya did and am sure that Abyei Battalion half of it will be thier brother South Sudanese as you might have think of it negative toward what i propose.

    repondre message

    • 11 September 2013 09:52, by Big Boy

      In fact, i am not crying out, but the reality is there now!! and i hope you understand the case of abyei during 1905 it was matter of admin..as like now the whole country are reliable or negelected your right to stop flow oil into the north instead those of ncp & unilliterate Kiir with her member’s of are enjoy the oil flow..

      repondre message

  • 11 September 2013 21:19, by Joseph Canada

    well, someone said Abyei is not only for Abyei people? Yes it’s not only for them if they can pull up their balls and lead the whole nation. otherwise Abyei is Neither North Sudan nor South Sudan for now. Those you send to Juba to talk in your behave come only for fill their pockets with that Oil money and your Kiir alike. Biong took $8m for himself. Deal with the truth.

    repondre message

  • 11 September 2013 21:20, by Joseph Canada

    well, someone said Abyei is not only for Abyei people? Yes it’s not only for them if they can pull up their balls and lead the whole nation. otherwise Abyei is Neither North Sudan nor South Sudan for now. Those you send to Juba to talk in your behave come only for fill their pockets with that Oil money and your Kiir alike. Biong took $8m for himself. Deal with the truth.

    repondre message

  • 12 September 2013 00:38, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    The people of Abyei are right to declare their destiny without waiting sudan and south sudan resolution , they are people dying everyday.

    repondre message

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