2 June 2013

South Sudan: Kiir Tells UN Chief It Is Time to Take Action Over Abyei Dispute

Juba — South Sudan president Salva Mayardit said it is time for the international community "to take action" in order to resolve conflict over the disputed region of Abyei, accusing Sudan of showing lack of political will to forge an understanding.

President Salva Kiir poses with other leaders of African countries during a photo session before the opening session of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama on June 1, 2013. (Getty)

The president made the remark at a meeting with the Secretary General of the United Nations on the side-line of the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Yakohama, Japan on Sunday.

"Despite our good intentions and commitment to resolve the difference, we are not making any progress because the other side which is supposed to work together with us as our sincere partner has not been able to move even when we have accepted the request to negotiate past the deadline", president Kiir reportedly told the secretary General of the United Nations Ban-Ki Moon on Sunday.

The president was further quoted as calling on the international community, particularly the United Nations "to act" because the two leaders (himself and Sudanese president Omer Ahmed Hassan El Bashir) have repeatedly fail to agree on the way forward to end the decade of conflict over the area.

He accused Sudanese government of "lacking interest and will" to the address the issue, describing the request seeking extension of negotiation within the African Union as "a political trick to buy time"

"The intention is to buy time. We have met more than three times this year with president Bashir and we did not resolve anything. They are always going against proposed action plans and implementation modalities which always make delays become another reason for negotiation. This shows that Sudan is not serious about committing to what it takes to get these issues resolved", he explained.

Kiir was referring to his latest meetings with his Sudanese counterpart Omer Al-Bashir in Juba and Addis Ababa where the two parties failed to agree on the formation of the interim administration and the referendum's organisation.

The United Nations' Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on his part commended the progress made you made in the implementation of some aspects of cooperation agreement and urged the South Sudanese government to continue engaging with Sudan to move forward on the implementation of the 27 September 2012 deals.

He further "stressed the increasing concern of the international community with regard to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in South Sudan, and called on the Government of South Sudan to do more to protect civilians in Jonglei State, in particular.

"The world is deeply concern about increasing insecurity situation in Jonglei. We are getting towards a time now where hard decisions need to be made", said Ki-Moon.

South Sudanese Minister of foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nhial Deng Nhial said president Kiir had met also with a number of Asian and world leaders on the sideline of the conference, describing all meetings "fruitful with encouraging pledges made for development and humanitarian assistances".

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