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10-07-13 DBA BUTTY - SOUTH SUDAN - ABYEI REFERENDUM


SOUTH SUDAN IS CALLING ON THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO ENSURE THE EXPEDITIOUS IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGREEMENT TO HOLD A REFERENDUM THIS MONTH TO DETERMINE THE FINAL STATUS OF THE DISPUTED OIL-RICH BORDER REGION OF ABYEI. FOREIGN MINISTER BARNABA MARIAL BENJAMIN SAYS THE REFERENDUM IS THE ONLY DEMOCRATIC WAY FOR THE PEOPLE OF ABYEI TO DECIDE WHETHER THEY WANT TO REMAIN IN THE NORTH OR GO BACK TO THE SOUTH FROM WHERE THEY WERE TAKEN DURING THE COLONIAL ERA. THE AFRICAN UNION HIGH IMPLEMENTATION PANEL HAS SET OCTOBER THIS MONTH FOR THE REFERENDUM TO TAKE PLACE. FOREIGN MINISTER BENJAMIN TELLS ME THAT JUBA RECEIVED INTERNATIONAL BACKING DURING THE JUST CONCLUDED 68TH UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOR THE REFERENDUM TO TAKE PLACE AS PLANNED.

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