The Chief Administrator for Abyei Administrative Area has reiterated calls on the presidency to expedite the process of determining the final status of the area.
In August this year, the National Committee for the Final Status of Abyei held its first meeting with the Sudanese delegation in Juba.
The meeting discussed the historical documents related to the Abyei area.
The oil-rich border region has been contested since South Sudan gained independence in 2011.
The Abyei area was accorded a “special administrative status” by the 2004 Protocol on the Resolution of the Abyei Conflict, known as, the Abyei Protocol.
Under the terms of the Protocol, the Abyei area was declared part of the states of South Kordofan and Northern Bahr el Ghazal and issues related to it to be determined by the Presidency made up of President Salva Kiir and former Sudanese President Omar al Bashir.
After years of contention between leaders in South Sudan and Sudan on who is eligible to vote in the referendum, the nine Ngok Dinka chiefdoms took the matter into their own hands by organizing their own popular vote.
They cited the Abyei Protocol in the CPA, and the ruling by the International Permanent Court of Arbitration, which proclaimed that only the Ngok Dinka tribe and permanent residents may vote.
The Sudanese government wanted the nomadic Arab Misseriya tribe, whose cattle access pasture lands in Abyei annually, to be accorded full voting rights.
Several inter-communal clashes between the armed Misseriya pastoralist tribe of Sudan and the Dinka Ngok of South Sudan have led to many civilian deaths in the last decade.
According to Kuol Diem Kuol, South Sudan is now in a rightful position to finalize on the deadlock of the Abyei area.
“Our problem in South Sudan was war, now we are trying to stop fighting one another, so that we enjoy our resources and use it for our benefits,” Chief Deng Eye Radio in Juba over the weekend.
“I am appealing to the presidency to expedite the settlement of the final status of Abyei area so that the suffering of our people ends.”
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