5 December 2012

Sudan: UN Chief Calls for More Efforts to Reach Negotiated Solution On Abyei

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

Washington — United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has urged Sudan and South Sudan to reach a negotiated solution on the final status of Abyei, days before the end of an ultimatum posed by the African Union to the two parties.

On 24 October, the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) endorsed a proposal submitted by an African panel providing to hold a referendum in Abyei where the Nogk Dinka and the Misseriya residing permanently can only vote to determine the future of the area.

Khartoum refused the decision which excludes the Misseriya nomads warning that such move may undermined the whole peace process with Juba. South Sudan on the other hand welcomed the decision and urged the African Union to refer it to the Security Council stressing it is the best way to put a term to the "endless talks".

"Both parties have to continue their efforts to find a mutually agreeable solution on the resolution of the final status of Abyei," stated Martin Nesirky, the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General on Wednesday.

Ban's call comes one day before a consultations meeting at the UN Security Council (UNSC) where Abyei issue among others will be discussed.

It is not clear if the AUPSC will refer its decision of the 24 October to the UNSC because the 15-member body is divided now over Abyei issue. Some seem willing to back it while others consider that imposition of such solution is unproductive.

The peace and security council will meet on 14 December to debate on the issue . Juba and Khartoum did not meet to discuss on the proposal since the adoption of 24 October decision which gave them six weeks to reach a compromise before to refer it to the Security Council.

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