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South Sudan Official Calls for International Help to Implement Court's Ruling on Abyei

A senior member of the former Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) says semi-autonomous south Sudan will accept Wednesday's Court of Arbitration decision on the borders of the disputed oil-rich Abyei region.

The ruling reduced the size of Abyei and gave most of the oil areas to Sudan's northern-based national government.

Pagan Amum, secretary general of the former SPLM and now minister for cabinet affairs in Sudan's government of national unity, hoped both parties will now move beyond the ruling and bring about the full implementation of the entire Abyei Protocol.

"The SPLM, before the announcement, had declared its position that it shall accept the decision of the court. And now that the court has issued its word and demarcated the border of Abyei, we accept that decision and we are for its immediate implementation on the ground," he said.

Amum said although the south is disappointed by the court's ruling, it still plans to accept the ruling.

"The court has decided. We had accepted that we shall take the decision of the court as final and binding, and we remain committed to our word. We are not like the National Congress (party of President Bashir) that reneges from their commitment," Amum said.

He hoped the Court of Arbitration's ruling would help Sudan's overall peace process.

"For the people of Abyei at least now their border is clear. The land of north Dinka that has been transferred in 1905 has now been demarcated by the International Court of Arbitration. And this brings to an end the conflict between the Messeriah people on one side and the north Dinka. And we hope with this decision the page of instability and war and conflict is closed," he said.

Amum also hoped the parties in Sudan would now proceed to fully implement the entire Abyei Protocol, including the government initiating programs for resettlement and rehabilitation of refugees.

He also hoped the international community would assist in the full execution of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

"We now call on the United States of America and the international community to ensure that this decision is immediately implemented and to ensure that there is peace in the area and paves the way for the full implementation of the Abyei Protocol and the CPA," he said.

Amum said problems still remain in the realization of the CPA, including the border between the south and north.

He accused the northern-based government of focusing only on having access to oil and little on uniting the people of Sudan.