Gov’t to send border committee to Sudan over Abyei conflicts

Gov’t to send border committee to Sudan over Abyei conflicts

The government will soon send a committee to Sudan to discuss the protracted border disputes causing inter-communal violence between Misseriyia Arabs and Dinka Ngok, a senior official has said.

Vice President and Chair of the Service Cluster, Hussien Abdelbagi, said the delegation is expected to travel to Khartoum immediately after the feast of Eid al Fitr.

 He said the committee would also discuss the reopening of border crossing points to enable the free movement of people and goods.

“There will be a committee from South Sudan to go and meet their brothers in Sudan after Ramadan to resolve the border issue,” Abdalbegi said.

“We would also want to call on our neighbours including Sudan, to open the borders and let peace reign between citizens of the two countries living along the borders, which is very important.” 

Abdalbegi was addressing thousands of Muslim congregations during Ramadan prayers in the capital, Juba, on Monday. 

Ongoing contest

The boundary between South Sudan and Sudan has remained contested since the former seceded from the latter in 2011. The two sisterly countries have been contesting the border areas of Abyei, Commercial Kaka, Debbat El Fukhar, and Jebel Megeines, the 14 Mile area South of Barh El Arab, Hafrat El Nukhas, and Kafia Kingi.

Over the past months, the most contested oil-rich region, Abyei Special Administrative Area, has been experiencing recurring inter-communal violence, which has claimed lives and displaced thousands of residents. 

Last month, the Spokesperson of the Abyei Area Administration, Ajak Deng Miyan reported that 41 civilians were killed, 13 wounded, and 1,913 herds of cattle raided on three occasions during fresh attacks alleged to have been initiated by the Misseriya militiamen. 

Though Ngok Dinka opted to be part of South Sudan in a 99.9 per cent unilateral referendum vote in 2013, both South Sudan and Sudan have neither recognised nor rejected the result. The international community has also kept quiet since then.

“We call on the government of South Sudan to actively and promptly engage the government of Sudan to expedite the resolution of the final status of Abyei in accordance with the aspirations of the Ngok Dinka of Abyei,” CEPO Executive Director, Edmund Yakani recently said in a statement.

However, peace talks between Ngok Dinka and Misseriya organised by the United Nations Interim Security for Abyei (UNISFA) will be expected to take place in neighbouring Uganda this month. The talks will draw together leaders, women and youth representatives from the warring communities.