Individuals cannot decide on Abyei’s fate – Dr. Machar

South Sudan map showing Abyei box in circle (photo courtesy)

By William Madouk Garang

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition under Dr. Riek Machar has rejected Francis Mading’s proposal of a joint administration between Ngok and Misseryia tribes; citing that individuals cannot decide on Abyei fate.

The main opposition party, SPLM-IO said they believe Abyei’s destiny cannot be determined by individuals because it’s a national issue which requires collective ideas and views of the people of South Sudan.

Dr. Riek’s party was reacting to Mading’s proposed setting of a provisional plan in which the Misseryia who are contesting with Ngok over territorial ownership would share resources until such time the issue is resolved.

The proposal was also categorically rejected by the Dinka Ngok last month, saying it amounts to recognizing the claim of the Misseryia.

In a statement, the acting spokesperson in the office of First Vice President, Goanar Gordon Yien said they respect the will of the people of Abyei, asserting that Abyei issue is a national one.

“The SPLM-IO is not part of making Abyei a protectorate or self-governing state proposed by Dr Francis Mading Deng,” Yien said.

“We believe that Abyei destiny cannot be determined by individuals since it has become a national issue which requires our collective ideas and views as people of South Sudan,” he continued.

He warned that any individuals or members found propagating against the will of the people of Abyei must be disciplined by the party as per (IO) code of conduct, internal regulation and constitution.

“Abyei people had voted in a referendum and we should not stand against their will rather to respect the results of the referendum,” he vowed.

Dr. Riek’s mouthpiece, said he hoped that the African Union High Implementation Panel led by former South African President would come out with concrete solution on the status of Abyei.

Kuol Deim Kuol, the Abyei chief administrator told media earlier that Mading’s plan prompted his executive council to convene a meeting to mull over the proposal in which they rejected.

“The executive council convened a meeting last week after carrying out consultations with all segments of the community to solicit their views about the proposal and to conduct further analysis and the outcome was a total rejection of the proposal advocating for temporary arrangements by Dr. Francis Mading Deng,” Kuol noted.

“A public statement was issued by the executive council supporting the decision of the consultation and important resolutions were passed,” he added.

According to Kuol, one of the resolutions is to seek approval of national Cabinet, National Legislative Assembly, Council of States and the action from President to endorse the community referendum.

Another resolution was to seek the efforts of President Kiir and his cabinet to endorse and lobby to AU and UNSC plus other international bodies to ensure Sudan complies with the 2005 peace agreement which recognizes territorial ownership of Abyei to the nine Ngok chiefdoms.

A third resolution asks the government of South Sudan to coordinate efforts and work jointly with international community to stop settlement, setting up of the Sudan appointed administration north of Abyei in the areas delineated by the court and falling in the Abyei box and to stop further encroachment into the area from north of Abyei.

He commended Kiir for showing commitment to pursue the cause of the area; expressing hope that the two countries will resolve the matter as one of the most important ones requiring the attention of the two leaders.

The status of Abyei is one of the main outstanding issues Sudan and South Sudan have not resolved since the latter seceded from the former in July 2011.

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