8th February 2023
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Abyei intellectuals, UN envoy separately met President Kiir over Ngok status

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Thursday, October 20, 2022

Abyei residents protesting in the past against planned deployment of SSPDF in Agok, and presence of SAF in Abyei -profile photo/ Courtesy

President Salva Kiir held separate talks with Abyei intellectuals and a UN envoy on the status of the disputed South Sudan-Sudan border area.

The Abyei intellectuals who were invited by President Kiir included Ambassador Dr. Francis Madiing Deng and Dr. Luka Biong Deng.

Speaking to the state-run TV, SSBC Wednesday evening, the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said, the meeting was to gather views of the Abyei leaders.

Dr. Marial added that the consultation was also meant to clarify misinformation on social media about the status of the contested region.

“They had a long conversation with the president on the issues related to the status of Abyei, this was a great meeting, it brought views especially with a lot of misinformation in the social media, to be brought so that there is some clarity in the unified position and sticking to the final status of Abyei as reflected in the Abyei protocol and the other areas that added to finding a permanent solution to the crisis that is happening, sadly in Abyei were a lot of people are dying.”

For his part, Ambassador Dr. Francis Mading Deng stressed the need to restore stability in the area, saying the people of Abyei are desperate for peace with their neighbors.

“In the meantime, the people of Abyei are in disparate needs for security and stability, services, development ro running their affairs, having good relations with their neighbors, stabilized the situation,”

“And when the relations between the Ngok Dinka and neighboring communities are stabilized, the result will be positive in the relations between the two countries,”

“The committee that has been reconstituted by the president with a sub-committee that is dealing with resort development in Abyei is critically important because our people need some evidence to bring them security, and stability for them to return to those areas where they have been forced to leave.”

However, in a separate meeting Wednesday, President Kiir also discussed with the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa, Hanna Serwa Tetteh ways to resolve the final status of Abyei.

She said she came to explore what has changed since South Sudan and Sudan reconstituted joint committees and the opportunities to resolve the status of Abyei.

“I very much looking to continuing to work with the government of South Sudan under the leadership of His Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit doing my turn in this particular position. and I look forward to also being good to share his participation to brief colleagues within the UN system,’

“And also the UN Security Council on the development that has taken place recently. I particularly note the reconstitution of the Abyei committee, as the establishment of the sub-committee, and what that changed. And what opportunities are provided.”

Last month, President Salva Kiir said achieving the final status of Abyei is a top policy priority for the government of South Sudan.

He called for patience among the Abyei residents, saying the policy of the government has not changed the status of Abyei as stipulated in the 20005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Kiir said the issue will require an amicable solution that will benefit South Sudan and Sudan including the bordering communities.

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