News / Africa

Sudan Stalling on Abyei, South Sudan Official says

  • Abyei residents, who fled to northern Sudan during the war, came back in their droves ahead of a referendum that was supposed to be held in January 2011 to determine if the region should be part of South Sudan or Sudan.

  • A Ngok Dinka woman, who spent years in exile in the North, shows her happiness at being reunited with her family and friends in Abyei after returning ahead of a proposed January 2011 referendum on the status of the region, which was ultimately cancelled amid flare-ups of violence.
  • The vast majority of the returnees to Abyei ahead of a planned January 2011 referendum were Ngok Dinka, who are allied with Juba.

  • Sudan has opposed an African Union proposal to hold a referendum on the status of Abyei in October, saying people from the Misseriya tribe would not be allowed to vote.

  • A camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Abyei in Akong village in South Sudan. The IDPs want to return to Abyei to take part in the October referendum about the disputed area.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) walks with Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom after a joint news conference at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa on May 25, 2013, at which Kerry stressed the importance of resolving the status of Abyei.

Abyei: disputed region between the Sudans

Manyang David Mayar
A South Sudanese official Tuesday said Sudan is dragging its heels on implementing agreements the two countries reached last year, especially on issues related to disputed border areas, including Abyei.

But while he painted a bleak picture around the agreements' implementation so far, South Sudan’s Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Michael Makuei Lueth, who is also the chairman of the Sudan-South Sudan border committee, insisted that Juba has not given up hope that the accords would one day be in place.

Makuel said Khartoum called off a meeting about the border that was scheduled to take place last week in Addis Ababa, at which the two sides were supposed to continue negotiations on disputed border areas.  The meeting was supposed to have special focus on the Abyei region, which sits in the center of the nearly 2,200-kilometer border between the two countries and is claimed by both.

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

Prized for its fertile land and small oil reserves, Abyei is currently under United Nations' administration.

An African Union panel led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki has proposed holding a referendum in October in Abyei to determine the area's status. Khartoum has rejected the idea because it says members of the Arab Misseriya tribe, some of whom have settled in Abyei while others pass through on their way to watering and grazing grounds for their cattle, would not be allowed to vote.

Makuei said South Sudan officials have not given up on implementing agreements signed in September last year, hoping that international pressure will push Sudan to act.

“We will continue to press the government of Sudan. We will continue to press the international community to put the government of Sudan under pressure to respect and abide by the agreements,” he said.

During the just-concluded A.U. summit in Addis Ababa, United States Secretary of State John Kerry urged Juba and Khartoum to allow the referendum proposed by the A.U. to take place.

"Abyei presents a special challenge," Kerry said in response to a question at a news conference in Addis Ababa.

"And I think we agreed that it was critical that Abyei be able to have a referendum with the appropriate Misseriya – that is the Miseria who actually live in Abyei and have residence there year-round, not the migrant Misseriya – that they be able to vote together with residents and then to decide the future," Kerry said.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Alek from: Abyei
May 30, 2013 9:28 AM
Abeyi is for the people of Abyei n will always be thiers, alive or dead.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid