News / Africa

Abyei Residents Continue Vote on Joining Sudan, South Sudan

Voters wait in line to cast their vote, as others have their fingers dipped in ink to show they have done so, in an abandoned school used as a polling center in the disputed border region of Abyei, Oct. 27, 2013.
Voters wait in line to cast their vote, as others have their fingers dipped in ink to show they have done so, in an abandoned school used as a polling center in the disputed border region of Abyei, Oct. 27, 2013.
VOA News
Some residents in the disputed Abyei region are voting for a second day on whether to join Sudan or South Sudan, both of which claim the territory.

The three-day referendum, which began Sunday, is not sanctioned by either country's government.

Only members of the South Sudan-allied Ngok Dinka ethnic group are participating in the exercise. Nomads from the Sudan-allied Misseriya tribe say they will not recognize the results, which are expected on October 31.

A referendum on Abyei was originally scheduled for January 2011 but the two Sudans have been unable to agree who is eligible to vote. The countries nearly went to war that year because of disputes over Abyei, oil, and borders.

Referendum organizers say an estimated 65,000 people are registered to cast ballots at the 28 polling places.

Luka Biong, a spokesperson for the Abyei Referendum High Commission, told VOA that he hopes the vote will settle the final status of Abyei and bring peace to the disputed area.

"I hope this choice is going to be good for all the neighbors of the community of Abyei, whether the country they have chosen or the country they have rejected," he said. "I think the two countries will eventually benefit from the stability and peace in Abyei and from the [economic] development that we are going to see in Abyei. We hope it will add [something] to strengthen the good relationship between the two countries."

The status of the 10,000-square-kilometer area of Abyei has been in dispute since the signing of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended more than 20 years of civil war in the once-unified Sudan.

Prized for its fertile land and oil reserves, Abyei is claimed by the north and south, and is currently under United Nations' administration.

  • People wave South Sudanese flags as they celebrate referendum results in town of Abyei, Oct. 31, 2013.
  • A man waves a South Sudanese flag as he celebrates referendum results in the town of Abyei, Oct. 31, 2013.
  • A woman votes in a polling station during a referendum in the town of Abyei, Oct. 28, 2013.
  • A woman inks her finger after voting in a polling station located in a school in Abyei, Oct. 28, 2013.
  • Women wait to vote inside a polling station located in a school during a referendum in the town of Abyei, Oct. 28, 2013.
  • A man pours drinking water at a former school near polling station in Abyei, Oct. 28, 2013.
  • A man waits inside a mosquito tent in a school to vote near a polling station during a referendum in Abyei, Oct. 27, 2013.
  • Men wait to vote at a school during a referendum in the town of Abyei, Oct. 27, 2013.
  • Voters wait in line to cast their vote, as others have their fingers dipped in ink to show they have done so, in an abandoned school used as a polling center in the disputed border region of Abyei, Oct. 27, 2013.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs