Newscast Media KHARTOUM—Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Karti says that referring the controversial Abyei issue to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) could trigger a new war between Khartoum and Juba.
Sudan and South Sudan failed to meet a deadline set by the African Union (AU) to come to an agreement on the final status of Abyei, by December 5. According to the official SUNA news agency, the foreign minister said that a possible referral to the UNSC would “complicate” the issue and “threaten a new conflict”.
In October, the African Union Peace and Security Council said that if Khartoum and Juba failed to settle the issue, a referendum would be held. The referendum is to determine whether Abyei will join Sudan or South Sudan. Karti renewed Sudan’s demand that the difference between the two sides be settled within the African framework.
The oil-rich Abyei area is currently controlled by Ethiopian UN peacekeepers. The Misseriya tribe lives in the disputed area. Officials say that going ahead with the AU plan will only lead to violence.
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011 as part of a 2005 peace treaty, which ended decades of war between the two countries. Despite the treaty, the African neighbors are still at loggerheads over oil revenues and border demarcation.