Voice of America (Washington, DC)

27 October 2013

Sudan: Abyei Residents Vote On Sudan-South Sudan Choice

Photo: UN Photo/Tim McKulka
Residents of Abyei march to celebrate the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

A tribe residing in a disputed border region claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan held a unilateral vote Sunday to decide which country to join.

The three-day vote in the oil-rich Abyei region was not sanctioned by either government, and it was unclear early Monday whether the outcome would be accepted by either side.

Neither country has been able to decide who should vote in the Abyei referendum, a standoff that has delayed the vote for months.

The Khartoum government has demanded the Sudan-allied minority Misseriya nomads vote alongside the majority Ngok Dinka, while the Juba government wants polling limited to its Ngok Dinka allies.

The Associated Press quoted vote organizers Sunday as saying they expected up to 100,000 Ngok Dinka people to cast ballots, despite warnings from the African Union that the unsanctioned voting would increase the risk of violence between the two tribes.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir met last week in Juba, where they agreed to work on fully re-opening their two countries' shared border, which was closed after fighting last year.

The two countries also have had disputes over oil, which is pumped from the south but must pass through the north to reach international markets.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 Voice of America. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

Sudan's Abyei Conducts Unilateral Referendum

Residents of Abyei march to celebrate the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

The Ngok Dinka Community residing in a disputed border region claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan held a unilateral vote to decide which country to join. Read more »