President Kiir Orders Release Of Abyei Civil Servants For October Referendum Poll

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir. [Gurtong | File]

Citizens of Abyei Ngok Dinka tribe, according to the African Union backed Cooperation Agreement are set to participate in a referendum in which they will vote either to remain as part of South Sudan or Sudan.

Agaw said the order applies to all the private sector too and urged respect on the directive.

“They will participate in the voting exercise and come back after the referendum to continue with their jobs,” Agaw said.

Abye, a disputed oil rich region since the end of the over two decades of civil war between Sudan and South Sudan has remained a breading ground for conflict between the two long term foes; Sudan and South Sudan.

In 2011 clashes between Sudan Armed Forces and South Sudan army provoked a worrying situation threatening peace and cooperation between the two countries.

The region is currently under the full control of a United Nations Interim Force for Abyei (UNISFA) who provides security and defense there.

The referendum is the only way out to sort the Abyei issue as experts have devised.

However, Khartoum for years now has shown signals refusing to allow the conducting of the process.

In May this year, Abyei Ngok Dinka Paramount Chief Kuol Deng Kuol was allegedly assassinated by Messiriya nomads, tribe from Sudan backed as militia by Khartoum.

South Sudan and Ngok Dinka tribe had then pointed hands to Khartoum for backing Messiriya for the killing of Kuol Deng Kuol in an effort to disrupt the referendum process.

South Sudan has urged Khartoum to respect the provision of the Cooperation Agreement in an effort to give a fair environment for the conduct of the referendum process. 

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