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Abyei future to be decided within developing relationship between two Sudans

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Hamdok meets South Sudan Committee for Abyei headed by Deng Alor on 20 August 2021 (ST photo)August 21, 2021 (JUBA) - The future of the Abyei area should be decided within the framework of developing the spirit of brotherhood and cooperation between South Sudan and Sudan, says a statement issued in Juba on Sunday.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok flanked by Foreign Minister Mariam al-Mahdi and his Political Adviser Yasir Arma, held a meeting with South Sudan’s Committee for Abyei Final Status to discuss the final status of the Abyei area.

In line with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, Abyei residents from the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya tribe have to determine through a local referendum if they want to join South Sudan or to remain within Sudan.

However, the two sides failed to agree on who is eligible to take part in this vote. The Ngok Dinka refuse the participation of the Sudanese nomads who move every year between the disputed area and adjacent areas in West Kordofan.

A delegation led by Deng Alors discussed the Abyei issue with Hamdok on Saturday.

On Sunday the delegation released a statement saying they agreed with the Sudanese sides to solve the issue through a negotiated agreement.

Hamdok "Assured the National Committee of Abyei Final Status of Sudan’s readiness to solve the issue of Abyei since both countries of Sudan and South Sudan have developed a spirit of brotherhood and mutual cooperation for the interest of peace and stability in both countries".

Another meeting should be held soon by the two sides for further discussions on the settlement of the Abyei issue, added the statement.

It is worth mentioning that the National Umma Party of Mariam al-Mahdi has large support in the Misseryia constituencies in Abyei and West Kordofan.

The joint communiqué issued at the end of Hamdok visit did not refer to the Abyei issue.

(ST)

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