27 November 2012

Sudan: Khartoum Rejects South Sudan's Criticism Over Abyei Meeting

Photo: Stuart Price/UN
The aftermath of a past attack on Abyei (file photo).

Khartoum — A Sudanese official said his government is conducting consultations on its nominees for Abyei interim institutions, refuting South Sudanese criticism over the delay in the formation of these regional bodies.

On 20 June 2011 Khartoum and Juba agreed to establish a new administration in Abyei where the head of the executive will be nominated by Juba as Khartoum will select the head of legislative council.

The parties failed to agree Abyei administration as Juba asked to appoint a Ngok Dinka as speaker, a demand that Khartoum declined.

However, President Salva Kiir recently agreed to proceed with the implementation of the deal, following a decision taken by the African Union Peace and Security Council on 24 October providing to hold a referendum in October 2013 and urged Juba to go ahead with the formation of the local administration.

Sudan's top negotiator for Addis talks with the South Sudanese government Idris Mohamed Abdel Gadir issued a statement on Tuesday saying that consultations are still underway to complete the government's list of candidates for all the functions of Abyei institutions.

He further regretted a statement released by the co-chair of Abyei steering committee, Luka Biong, saying Juba was the cause of the delay during all the past period because of their refusal to accept that a Misseriya be appointed at the head of legislative council.

Luka Biong released a statement on 21 November where he blamed Sudan for the postponement of the meeting which was supposed to take major decisions to fully implement the resolution of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) as per its 24 October communiqué.

Khartoum is hostile to the African Union decision to hold the referendum on Abyei future without the participation of the Misseriya nomads and rejected it.

The African Union gave the parties six weeks to strike a deal over the referendum organization, but seemingly none of the two sides is willing to make any concession.

On Tuesday, a delegation of Misseriya traditional leaders, headed by Al-Khair Al-Fahim co chair of Abyei steering committee, met in Khartoum with the Russain ambassador to Sudan to discuss a role his country can play at the level of the UN Security Council to counter any American move aiming to pass a resolution supporting the organisation of a referendum without their participation.

The UN Security Council is scheduled on Wednesday to hold a consultations the situation between Sudan and South Sudan.

The meeting which is mainly dedicated to discuss the UNMISS may handle the recent accusations of bombing the South Sudanese territory and the implementation of the 27 September deal as well as the situation in Abyei.

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