14 January 2013

South Sudan: Lesotho Supports Abyei Referendum

Maseru — The Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho has agreed to back Mr Thabo Mbeki's proposal that allows Abyei referendum to take place in October saying there is nothing wrong with it.

The government made this reaction today after receiving a letter and a briefing on the status of Abyei from the special envoy of the President Hon. Emmanuel LoWilla.

According to Hon. LoWilla, Mr. Mbeki's proposal suggests that the people of Abyei (the Dinka Ngok and the other permanent residents of Sudan and South Sudan residing in Abyei) are to be given the right of a referendum to decide where they want to be.

He as well mentioned that the proposal suggests that the nomads' right for grazing is guaranteed but they are not to vote because they are not permanent residents of Abyei.

Lesotho's Prime Minister, Right Honorable Motsoahae Thomas Thabane said there is no reason why the people of Abyei were not allowed to vote for referendum after the agreement signed in 2005.

Prime Minister Thabane pledged to support the cooperation agreement signed last September and encourage other African countries to look into this problem so that peace and stability prevails between Sudan and South Sudan. He as well noted that the Kingdom of Lesotho will always be committed to the resolution of conflicts peacefully in Africa.

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