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.
Newscast Media KHARTOUM, Sudan—Despite accusing each other of continuing to fight, both Sudan and South Sudan have apparently agreed to a UN-imposed ceasefire. As a UN-imposed deadline for a ceasefire between Sudan and South Sudan passed Friday, both countries said they had agreed to cease hostilities following weeks of clashes that have threatened to bring the countries to war.
A standoff between opposing forces continues near the disputed border, but the governments Khartoum and Juba said they would seek peace. The UN threatened sanctions if fighting continued past the Friday deadline.
“There’s nothing happening, or let’s hope so,” said South Sudan’s army spokesman Philip Aguer. “The SPLA (army) is in a defensive position and have been told today by the commander in chief… not to move and to respect the ceasefire.”
Sudan said it was no longer engaging in conflicts across the border to South Sudan, but has said it will engage Southern troops on who are still in Sudan. The border between the two countries, however, remains disputed.
“Sudan has stopped fighting inside South Sudan in line with a UN resolution, but will continue battling Southern troops who remain on northern territory,” said Sudanese foreign ministry spokesman Al-Obeid Meruh.
He cited this alleged presence on Sudanese territory as an indication that South Sudan was not holding up its end of the ceasefire bargain.
The South also said warplanes from Sudan had dropped bombs in the South’s Unity state on Thursday, claims which have been denied by Sudan. http://www.newscastmedia.com/ceasefire-sudan.htm
Source: Christian Today
Newscast Media KHARTOUM, Sudan — A church elder has warned of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Abyei, a contested region lying between Sudan and South Sudan.
Abyei has been occupied by Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) since last May after months of delays to its referendum on self determination. The referendum was part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended decades of civil war in 2005.
It had been due to take place on the same day as South Sudan voted for independence in January last year. Now the disputed region is in political and military stalemate, and the vast majority of the 130,000 Ngok Dinka residents who fled the fighting last year are still unable to return to their homes.
Dr Zechariah Bol Deng, a senior elder of the Ngok Dinka tribe, said, “Currently, people are still suffering, there are thousands living under trees near the river, unable to return to their homes due to the presence of the SAF in Abyei, and with very limited resources.
“The presence of the troops means that people are afraid to return to Abyei, and their situation is getting more and more desperate.
“Children are dying of preventable diseases and only a limited number of relief agencies are able to reach them.”
Forces from the SAF and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army were both due to leave the region by last September. While the SPLA has fully withdrawn, SAF troops have yet to do so.
Mervyn Thomas, Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s Chief Executive, said, “It is unacceptable that SAF continues to occupy Abyei despite the UN agreement.
“It is even more unacceptable that over 100,000 people continue to eke out an existence in such lamentable conditions due to this occupation.
“The international community must press the Government of Sudan to honor the agreement to withdraw from Abyei and allow the postponed referendum to take place.”
A UN interim security force has been sent to Abyei tasked with restoring peace. However Mr Thomas said it would have to become “more proactive” in securing peace in the area before the people of Abyei could return to their homes. http://www.newscastmedia.com/sudan2.html