News / Africa

    Abyei Residents Vote on Sudan-South Sudan Choice

    A woman shows her ink-stained finger after casting her ballot at a polling station located in a school during a referendum in the town of Abyei, Oct. 27, 2013.
    A woman shows her ink-stained finger after casting her ballot at a polling station located in a school during a referendum in the town of Abyei, Oct. 27, 2013.
    VOA News
    A tribe residing in a disputed border region claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan held a unilateral vote Sunday to decide which country to join.

    The three-day vote in the oil-rich Abyei region was not sanctioned by either government, and it was unclear early Monday whether the outcome would be accepted by either side.

    Neither country has been able to decide who should vote in the Abyei referendum, a standoff that has delayed the vote for months.

    The Khartoum government has demanded the Sudan-allied minority Misseriya nomads vote alongside the majority Ngok Dinka, while the Juba government wants polling limited to its Ngok Dinka allies.

    The Associated Press quoted vote organizers Sunday as saying they expected up to 100,000 Ngok Dinka people to cast ballots, despite warnings from the African Union that the unsanctioned voting would increase the risk of violence between the two tribes.

    South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir met last week in Juba, where they agreed to work on fully re-opening their two countries' shared border, which was closed after fighting last year.

    The two countries also have had disputes over oil, which is pumped from the south but must pass through the north to reach international markets.

    • 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.

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    by: Benty Kango Bullen from: Yambio/WES
    October 28, 2013 9:11 AM
    Bravo to our fellow citizen of Abyei for the wise decision they have taken to be free of colonialism and slavery in your own land, enough is enough. We South Sudanese are enthusiastic to receive you back home/Mother Land God bless you

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