President Kiir to spearhead Abyei’s final destiny

By William Madouk Garang

President Salva Kiir is expected to give direction on the position of South Sudan on the final status of the contested area of Abyei.

This comes after President Kiir on Wednesday met with Deng Alor Kuol in his capacity as the chair of Abyei File to discuss the final status of Abyei and necessity for its final solution.

Since 2011, the status of Abyei remains one of the main outstanding contentious issues between Sudan and South Sudan, with nomadic Arab Misseryia and Dinka Ngok claiming territorial ownership.

However, in October 2013, the Ngok Dinka community conducted a unilateral unpopular referendum in which the massive majority voted to join South Sudan.

But the referendum results are yet to be endorsed by both Sudan and South Sudan governments, now, Abyei remains as a special administrative area, until such time the issue is resolved.

Statement posted on the official Presidential Facebook page said President Kiir is very much worried about determining the final status of Abyei, adding soon the President will give a direction.

“The President is very much concerned about determining the final status of Abyei File and the current situation in Abyei Area,” noted the statement on the official Presidential Facebook page.

“The President will soon make his final position on the final status of Abyei File,” it added.

Deng Alor Kuol, who also serves as the Minister of East African Community Affairs, said he told the President that they had positive engagements with the leadership in Ethiopia and South Africa.

On Monday, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition under Dr. Riek Machar rejected Francis Mading’s proposal of a joint administration between Ngok Dinka of South Sudan and Misseriya tribes of Sudan, 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.

“The SPLM-IO is not part of making Abyei a protectorate or self-governing state proposed by Dr. Francis Mading Deng,” said the acting spokesperson in the office of the First Vice President – Goanar Gordon Yien.

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

Dr. Machar’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.

However, the Dinka Ngok has categorically rejected his proposal, saying it amounts to recognizing the claim of the Misseryia.

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