Refugees Flee Abyei

What the Presidents say:

S. Pres. Kiir

President Salva Kiir, speaking to reporters in Juba said, “We remain committed to peace. If anybody thinks the SPLA and the Government of South Sudan are lookng to retaliate by attacking Abyei or anywhere in Sudan, we are not going to do it.”

US threats to cancel debt relief of $38 million and demand international intervention if the SAF do not leave Abyei have not swayed northern President Al-Bashir. “We do not want the carrot of the US and we are not afraid of its stick,” he said.

Why Abyei is so complicated:

Abyei was accorded a separate referendum on whether the region would remain in the North or join the South. However, a dispute over whether the Arab nomadic Misseriya tribe—who enter Abyei to graze their cattle for a few months of the year—should be allowed to vote has meant the plebiscite has been all but shelved.

Kiir Majak, a member of the executive committee of the Abyei Association, called on the international community to consider military intervention to remove the Sudan Armed Forces out of Abyei as the occupation of Abyei by the northern army is a violation of the CPA. “The government of Khartoum will never accept its forces to withdraw from the area. This was the plan of National Congress Party to invade the area. So, I believe they will not accept Sudan Armed Forces withdraw, instead they will continue to deploy more in order to settle Misseriya in the area. The only option is international military intervention to remove them. They need to be expulsed,” Majak said.

After a visit to Southern Sudan by a delegation of the UN Security Council, the members’ conclusion was unequivocal. As Susan Rice, U. S. ambassador to the UN, told reporters at

US Ambassador to UN, Susan Rice

a news conference, the UN urged the Sudanese government to withdraw it armed forces immediately and unconditionally from Abyei.

Pres. Al-Bashir

But Bashir is having none of it.

The role of South Kordofan and Blue Nile states:

Kuol Manyang Juuk, Jonglei state governor, said that the northern military’s deployment at sites occupied by Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states is an attempt to ignite renewed conflict and to disrupt South Sudan’s independence in July.

Khartoum’s Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) have demanded that all SPLA soldiers move south of the 1956 colonial border that will form the border between the two countries once the south secedes.

Although Sudan’s second civil war began in the South Sudan town of Bor in 1983, many of the people’s of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan and Blue Nile joined the SPLA in their conflict against Khartoum.Governor Kuol said SPLA forces in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states in north Sudan that fought alongside the former rebel movement cannot leave their homes.

“The Nuba who are in the SPLA in southern Kordofan will not move out because that is their land,” said the governor. “Where do they go to? In fact there will be fighting and could be a reason for Khartoum government to attack the South,” he added.

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