No Surrender Over Abyei: SPLM Boss

Sudan’s main political parties have failed to agree on the contentious Abyei border issue, even as the South’s major political party vows to keep up with the fight.

The meeting of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the National Congress Party (NCP) in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa over the oil-rich region that is being claimed by both north ad South Sudan failed to bear any fruits.

The SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum told the press upon arrival in Juba that his party will not give up on the Abyei issue and added that the party will resort to another mechanism he described as “the global comprehensive package”.

He said the meeting was convened to remove obstacles on the Abyei issue and implementation of the ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).

Amum said that the PCA had ruled that the largest area of Abyei that belongs to the Dinka Ngok be transferred by a Republican Presidential Degree to the South but the NCP did not honour the ruling.

“The government of the US made a proposal to transfer Abyei to South Sudan. Because it and the international community support the Abyei protocol as well as the ruling of the PCA which basically indicates that Abyei is the land of the Dinka Ngok. The US government therefore, suggested that if there are difficulties in the conduct of the referendum… let Abyei be transferred by Presidential Decree to the South and in return, the rights of the Messiriya to graze in Abyei and in the South be guaranteed. This was what basically the US Envoy presented and the SPLM has accepted that. But the NCP has rejected it. However, they said they are going to discuss it among themselves and hopefully within the Comprehensive Package we are now applying, it may be possible that we may find such a solution as part of the whole package”, said the SPLM boss.

Amum warned that the Abyei region is at risk of genocide, and therefore called for further efforts by the international community.

The weeklong meeting that brought four parties together was convened by the United States Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration and was also attended by the two ethnic communities occupying the region, the Dinka Ngok and the Messiriya.

The Abyei Area remains a region of tension between the South and North. Despite guarantee by its protocols that it is to be given right to self determination, its referendum commission up to date remains a hanging question.

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