By Taban Tom Henry
South Sudan and Sudan has reached a deal to determine the final status of Abyei area.
Earlier, the South Sudan delegation headed by the Advisor for National Security Affairs Tut Gatluak Manime visited Sudan to discuss on the determination of the final status of Abyei
Abyei is an area on the border between South Sudan and the Sudan that has been accorded special administrative status by the 2004 protocol on the Resolution of the Conflict in Abyei during the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the Sudan’s longest civil war.
Under the terms of the Abyei protocol, which was part of the 2005 CPA, Abyei residents have been declared on an interim basis, to be simultaneously citizens of Sudan’s Western Kordofan State and South Sudan Northern Bahr el Ghazal State until its permanent status is determined through a referendum.
The first five months of 2011 saw the worst violence in Abyei since the end of the second Sudanese civil war. As of 23rd May 2011, Abyei town was in flames as armed militias looted and burned property following the occupation of the entire Abyei region by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). Between January and March 2011, the National Congress party, the ruling party in Sudan, supported the armed militias that attacked police positions throughout the middle of Abyei leaving more than 150 dead.
In May, strident political rhetoric increased on both sides and the units put in place to protect the territory clashed.
In a statement seen by the No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper on Tuesday, the Presidential Advisor on National Security Affairs Tut Gatluak Manime said the President of the Republic of South Sudan has on Monday met in his office with the committee tasked to follow up on the final status of Abyei with the government of Sudan in Khartoum.
“The committee headed by Tut Gatluak Manime, the Presidential Advisor on National Security Affairs briefed the President on the outcome of their recent visit to Khartoum where they signed a new important roadmap with the Sudanese government on the resolution of the Abyei’s final status based on the 2005 protocol,” the statement read in part.
Tut said the President encouraged the committee to continue to engage and dialogue in a peaceful manner in order for them to reach an agreement on the final determination of Abyei’s status. “There is a need for the two sisterly countries to work together and collectively find permanent solutions for the Abyei people,” Tut emphasized.