Deputy Chairman of Transitional Sovereign Council welcomes efforts to resolve Abyei problem


Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo Deputy Chairman of the Transitional Sovereign Council of the Sudan

The Deputy Chairman of Transitional Sovereign Council of the Sudan, Lt Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, has welcomed the efforts to find a solution to the problem of Abyei, the representative of Abyei in South Sudan National Legislative Assembly, Aisha Abbas Akuei said in a press statement. 

According to Sudan News Agency, the lawmaker said,  Hamdan had promised to arrange the commencement of negotiation on Abyei file to bring a lasting peace and stability in the region.

Gen. Dagalo assured South Sudanese delegation that Abyei issue will be resolved with the same spirit Sudan issues were addressed in order to achieve a comprehensive peace in the country and its neighbours, Abbas said.

The top ranking official said ending the problem of Abyei will contribute to peaceful coexistence and security in the area.

On Tuesday, South Sudanese senior officials including Minister of East African Affairs, Deng Alor Kuol who responsible for Abyei file and presidential advisor for security affairs, Tut Gatluak Kew arrived in Khartoum to talk about the issue of the oil-rich contested Abyei region between Sudan and South Sudan.

In a unilateral referendum conducted in 2013, Ngok Dinka people voted more than 99 percent in favor of becoming part of South Sudan,  but neither  Juba nor Khartoum recognized the outcome of the polls.

On Monday, president Salva Kiir tasked Gatluak to discuss the issue of Abyei with Sudanese government.

The area is placed under the protection of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).  Nobody else apart from the UNISFA’s soldiers is allowed to carry a gun. 

Despite this armed attacks and cattle raiding  have been common. In January this year, an attack on “Kolom” village near Abyei town, allegedly carried out by armed Misseriya left more than 30 civilians dead and scores injured.

The incident triggered demonstrations in Abyei, Juba and Khartoum. The demonstrators demanded for the replacement of UNISFA’s troops who come from Ethiopia with ones from several countries outside Africa, saying the peace keepers were not doing enough to protect civilians and their properties. 

A few months later, the United Nations Security Council extended the mandate of UNISFA by six months.