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Ngok Dinka to hold Abyei referendum this month


October 19, 2013 (JUBA/KHARTOUM) – The Ngok Dinka have openly declared their intention to conduct the Abyei area community referendum, saying they see "no light at the end of the tunnel".

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A boy celebrates the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on Abyei boundaries on 22 July 2009 (Photo UNMIS)

The decision emerged after Friday’s general conference for the Ngok Dinka community, which was held in Abyei town.

The move, which was inadvisable by African and international bodies, would put the area at high risk of communal violence between the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya who claim also the ownership of the region.

The referendum, the community said in a statement emailed to Sudan Tribune by the former Co-Chair of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee Luka Biong, should be conducted in a fair and transparent manner, while calling upon the international community, media houses and relevant organisations to monitor and observe the process.

No specific date was, however, fixed for the self-determination vote. However since Saturday reports emerged saying that the vote would be conducted during the last days of the month and the result would be announced on 31 October.

The community leaders prepared this vote since several months and they encouraged the return of its members to the disputed areas. UN aid agencies estimate that over 10.000 people recently regained Abyei.

North and South Sudan fought over two decades of civil war, which only ended with the 2005 signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Kenya.

Under its protocol on Abyei, however, the people of the contested region should have conducted their referendum at the same time as the South Sudanese, but was postponed due to disagreements between the North and South Sudanese leaders.

These differences mainly centred on the eligibility of voters. While Juba maintained that only the nine Ngok Dinka chiefdoms were eligible to vote as permanent residents of the area, Khartoum insisted that the Misseriya Arabs, who are temporary residents, be allowed to take part in the referendum.

So, although the protocol specifies Abyei residents as eligible voters, it still remains unclear as who were the legal inhabitants of the contested area, which is claimed by both countries.

In 2009, however, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) redefined Abyei area as the land of the nine Ngok Dinka chiefdoms.

The community, in one of its resolutions, recognised efforts of African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) to put the two Sudans on the track of peace and stability by adopting a comprehensive roadmap in April, 2012 that was endorsed by the United Nations Security Council in form of its resolution 2046 in May, 2012.

"(We…) Believe that the United Nations represents a vision for humanity where national and sovereign interests align with a higher respect for the fundamental rights of peoples," the communiqué reads in part.

Last year, the AU mediation team proposed holding a referendum in Abyei this month, but stated that only those residing permanently in the area will be allowed to vote in the plebiscite and decide whether they want to join Sudan or South Sudan.

The Sudanese government, however, rejected a AU proposal aimed at breaking the deadlock over Abyei referendum saying it ignored that the eligibility of the Misseriya.

A leading member of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in Abyei accused the Ngok Dinka of defying the AU decision and preparing to hold an unilateral vote on the fate of the disputed region.

Mac Yak Kor, a former member of Abyei administration accused Deng Alor, a leading member in the South Sudan ruling party SPLM and former minister, of mobilising the Ngok Dinka to carry out a referendum to determine the future of the contested area.

Kor told the official news agency (SUNA) that Alor uses a group called "Youth for Abyei Referendum" to prepare for the unilateral vote, stressing they are now campaigning in the northern part of the claimed area.

He called on the United Nations mission in Abyei (UNISFA) to "take the necessary steps to stop these negative moves" which aim to portray Sudan as the biggest enemy of the Dinka, Kor added.

During last week’s meeting with the UN special envoy for two Sudans, president Salva Kiir expressed his disappointments at the way the international community responded to calls for immediate intervention on Abyei.

"There is also a need for an honest approach from the international community so that the conflict is resolved amicably at once", the South Sudanese leader told Haile Menkerios.


Sudanese president Omer Al Bashir plans to travel to Juba on Tuesday 22 October at the invitation of his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir.

The foreign minister Ali Karti said on Sunday that the two leaders , among other things, will discuss the issue of Abyei and the decisions of the African Union on Abyei, in addition to the decisions agreed by the two sides on the disputed area.

The Sudanese official is referring to the formation of Abyei interim institutions agreed on 20 June 2011. But the Nogk Dinka refuse the implementation of this deal saying they are no longer ready to share the administration of their region with Misseriya.

Karti, however, was keen to minimise the impact of Abyei issue on bilateral relations saying that the two presidents are capable of banishing any fears that may trouble the evolving relations between the two countries.

A delegation from the African Union Peace and Security Council is expected to visit Abyei on Tuesday to inspect the situation there, Sudan Tribune, has learnt.

The visiting delegation would meet the leaders of Ngok Dinka and meet with the UN mission in Abyei.


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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 21 October 2013 06:47, by Mi diit

    I am sorry for the future of poor Ngok Dinka under Kiir’s incompetent leadership, which is coupled with weak politicians of Abyei. Kiir has banned Abyei campaign for referendum and invited Bashir to discuss friendship in Juba. Your referendum is nonsense and a recipe for Misseriya attacks. Kiir will see you slaughtered like chickens.

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    • 21 October 2013 08:31, by Mayom County Boy

      what is the reaction of Abyie people right now
      about their voting for abyie peopl ???

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    • 22 October 2013 06:50, by Paul Chadrack

      that’s the right decision from dinka abyei, our bhar el gazel brothers and their weak corrupt president are only for oil dollars regardless of if bashir took abyei or not that is not their problem, after 31 octocber fighting will erupt which will involved the whole of s sudan not only abyei dinka then the oil will be stopped automatically by bashir where will corrupt kiir get the benefit again?.

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  • 21 October 2013 07:15, by The Republic of South Sudan

    Kiir need to realized his mistakes and apology to South Sudan people and Abyei community for removing vocal people in the system. Dr. Machar and Pagan were the one who are vocal and can make AU and International community to pressurize them and make Abyei referendum happen in international manner. Illiterate Kii doesn’t English, the UN language, he doesn’t know what referendum is all about.

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    • 21 October 2013 08:21, by Mi diit

      These weak Dinka Ngok leaders and their poor people should not allow incompetent Kiir to trade their blood and land. They should organize a peaceful protest against the visit of Bashir to Juba. Bashir wants to reconfirm assurances from Salva Kiir that the referendum will not take place in October this year. Don’t sleep poor people!!

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  • 21 October 2013 08:09, by Chol A.

    what did you Militias knew about south sudan policy you have been working as traitors against your own brothers now try to tell us nonsense all the time

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    • 21 October 2013 08:18, by Mi diit

      Chol A.
      Don’t lie. Incompetent Kiir was the leader who worked for Jalaba as a spy in Malakal before 1983. He was responsible for the detention and killing of many South Sudanese by Khartoum because of his reports. In SPLM/A he was also responsible for detention and killing of many Dinka politicians and others. So you and your uncle are traitors.

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  • 21 October 2013 09:34, by Jalaby

    HAHAHAHAH What a funny referendum?! LOOOL
    No one will acknowledge the outcome of this nasty referendum by desperate Dinka Ngok but only themselves, ironically, they’re the organizers,voters,observers and judgement committee at the same time for this referendum,what a funny referendum? no one has ever experienced such a funny referendum in his life I guess! LOL

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    • 21 October 2013 09:40, by Jalaby

      Dinka Ngok are coward people therefore I advise and urge Mysseriya to mobilize themselves with heavy weapons outside Abyei and send a clear message to Dinka Ngok boys to stop this dirty game or we will invade the region, I’m very sure Khartoum government will back Mysseryia and supply them with heavy weapons,

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      • 21 October 2013 09:45, by Jalaby

        I’m 100% sure as soon as Meysseryia mobilize themselves with heavy weapons outside Abyei then Dinka Ngok will forget about the referendum and run quickly outside of Abyei running for their own lives and leave every thing behind, Abyei will become a ghost city within few hours as it usually happens every time when Mysseryia mobilize themselves outside of it!

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        • 21 October 2013 09:54, by Jalaby

          I bet thief Deng Alor who appeared Yesterday standing in the registration queue & smiling will be the first one to flee the area as soon as Mysseryia mobilizing themselves outside of Abyei!
          That’s correct SPLA will not fight Mysseryia this time as Mr Kiir has completely fed up with Dinka Ngok and now wants to put thief Deng Alor in jail and stops this ongoing headache

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          • 21 October 2013 10:02, by Jalaby

            Mr. Kiir can’t afford outraging Bashir again and goes through that ugly pain again if Khatoum closes down the pipeline, Mr. Kiir needs for every penny and dollars and will sacrifice them and simply put responsibility on Dinka Ngok and says to them "who told you to choose north in the first place? you created this problem by your own hands and you’ve to live with it"!

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            • 21 October 2013 10:37, by Jalaby

              I believe Nuer won’t fight on behalf of Dinka Ngok this time,last time Peter Gadet fought SAF on behalf of them but it seems what Yau Yau had claimed before of neutralizing Peter Gadet and put his soul in rest for good,it seems what he claimed is true,have any one of you seen or heard Peter Gadet talking again since Yau Yau claimed of killing him? I personally didn’t!

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              • 21 October 2013 11:21, by Mi diit

                I talked to Peter Gatdet last week, or when did your Yau Yau kill him?
                About Abyei you are right, Kiir is fearful of Bashir, fearing for his life and fearing to lose oil money at the time he wants to steal more before losing his leadership. It is his best time to loot oil money and forget about any thing else. Bashir will slaughter Ngok Dinka using Misseriya and tell Kiir smile too..

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        • 21 October 2013 09:59, by Maguangdit

          Mr. National Criminals Party MP, keeping beating drums. That doesn`t prevent what is intended to be done. You pigs don`t listen and there will be a time when you will listen. You the Arab people are the curse to the world and your time when you have to learn will come. Make no mistake about it. If there are any useless people in the world, the Arabs are. Good luck Abu Criminal.

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    • 21 October 2013 15:22, by zulu


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  • 21 October 2013 09:57, by Marco Bul

    Freedom is not free.Let the pple of Abyei know this.They must prepare themselves for anything.Stop loitering at tea stalls,be men.

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  • 21 October 2013 14:24, by Angelo Achuil

    Since Ngok Dinka had done all that could be done peacefully and thru PCA, they have unalienable to vote and may God who created them and gave them their land protect them from bullying.

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  • 22 October 2013 06:00, by Uncle J

    Hey guys,
    who the hell is this black Arab called Mac Yak Kor...??? I never heard of him before, I guess what is speaking in that dude is money, he got bribed to the point of forgetting his native ownership of Abyei land and blame Deng Alor for his being courageous to campaign for Abyei referendum. That idiot and people who think Abyei’s referendum is not logic should die of shame anyway

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