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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More