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Sudan crisis could jeopardize final status of Abyei, UK envoy

By William Madouk   

United Kingdom’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador, James Kariuki said the ongoing conflict in Sudan stood as a menace that could jeopardize reaching a peaceful agreement over the final status of Abyei region.

“The conflict in Sudan is a tragedy. It also presents a significant impediment to agreeing a peaceful settlement to the final status of Abyei,” ambassador Kariuki said.

The United Kingdom’s deputy permanent representative was speaking at the UN Security Council meeting on Sudan and South Sudan

Ambassador Kariuki called on Sudanese warring parties to honor the truce, to avoid derailing efforts to settle status of Abyei area.

The UK diplomat noted that, determining Abyei status is vital in bringing ‘long-term peace and development in the territory.’

He also commended UNISFA’s tireless efforts to help maintain peace and security in Abyei despite challenging circumstances, but lamented of continues suffering of civil populations.

“Second, despite the positive role played by UNISFA, the local population continues to suffer from an absence of basic services,” Mr. Kariuki mourned.

Kariuki also raised red flag over the increasing tensions between Twic-Ngok, however he applauded exerted efforts by South Sudan government to bring pesky inter-communal violence to an end.

He warned of the existence of the South Sudanese People’s Defense Forces, and Police personnel in Abyei box which he says it’s a violation and urged government of South Sudan to withdraw.

“The presence of these forces is exacerbating tensions and hindering peace. We call upon the Government of South Sudan to withdraw its forces without delay,” UK envoy stressed.

“Third, we echo the Secretary’s General concern over the effect on Abyei of the military clashes across Sudan,” he added.

UK ambassador cited that, the United Kingdom appreciates regional efforts to support a ceasefire, including through the Trilateral Mechanism.

“We note the offer by President Kiir to facilitate talks between the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces,” he added “We echo calls for a lasting ceasefire and for humanitarian needs to be urgently addressed.”

UK diplomat also urged all parties to respect International Humanitarian Law, protect and enable humanitarian staff, assets and operations to deliver aid to those in need in all parts of Abyei, without hindrance.

In April, the government of Sudan and South Sudan held a second joint meeting in Khartoum, to discuss sustainable solutions to the issue and provide the necessary solutions to the local communities.

Tut Gatluak, president Kiir’s advisor on security affairs noted that the journey is too long, but said it is not difficult to reach an agreement on the final status of Abyei.

Mr. Tut stressed that the government of South Sudan will continue with the same efforts put in during the Sudan peace talks and the implementation of the Juba agreement to resolve the insecurity issues in Abyei.

Yet, he called on the two committees of South Sudan and Sudan, which are tasked with handling the Abyei file, to exert more efforts for lasting peace in the contested Abyei Area.

Meanwhile, the deputy chairman of the Transitional Sovereignty Council of Sudan, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, called on the regional and international peace body to work together for the final status of the Abyei Administrative Area.

In October 2022, South Sudan and Sudan agreed to strengthen cooperation between the two countries to resolve the final status of Abyei.

Hamdan Dagalo and Tut Gatluak inked the deal on behalf of their countries.

Earlier, President Salva Kiir constituted a 10-member committee to initiate dialogue with the Sudanese government on the final status of the Abyei Special Administrative Area.


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