October 25, 2022 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan and South Sudan on Monday agreed to strengthen cooperation between the two countries to resolve the final status of Abyei.
The deputy head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo and South Sudan’s security advisor, Tut Gatluak Manime inked the deal on behalf of their countries.
The two officials stressed the need to expedite the joint mechanism and facilitate the provision of peace, security, and humanitarian services to the people in the area.
Speaking to reporters in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, the Undersecretary in Sudan’s Foreign Affairs ministry, Ambassador Dafallah Al Hajj Ali said the two sides agreed to enhance joint cooperation and address outstanding issues on Abyei’s final status.
“The parties resolved to jointly expedite the provision of services to the citizens of Abyei and activate joint mechanisms to provide the necessary humanitarian services and create an appropriate environment for the communities in the region,” explained Dafallah.
“The two sides agreed to encourage social peace and community dialogue among different communities in Abyei as a gesture of trust building,” he added.
Dafallah said that the two parties agreed on how to strengthen bilateral development between the two governments and develop ways that serve the interest of both sides.
South Sudan’s security advisor lauded the spirit of cooperation from the two countries.
Both sides, Manime said, agreed to reactivate mechanisms through which important matters on Abyei would kick-start discussions that would be forwarded to the leadership.
“The two sides agreed on a mechanism to jointly speed up the processes that would work together to oversee the provision of services to citizens of Abyei as well as play a role in coordinating, consolidating and harmonising efforts to ensure the necessary humanitarian services and create an appropriate environment for the return of the displaced and allow communities to resume active participation in economic activities,” he stressed.
For his part, Luka Biong, a member of South Sudan’s delegation, said that the two parties agreed to develop a road map to find effective solutions to the situation in Abyei region.
“The final status of the Abyei region depends primarily on the previous references and agreements and this is very important as we are looking for a final solution over the area,” he said, adding, “As the two countries are looking for a final solution for the region, services and security should be provided in the area.”
The former Cabinet Affairs minister further called for strengthening of ties between Sudan and South Sudan governments and the border communities in the two countries.
The Abyei Area is an area on the border between South Sudan and the Sudan that has been accorded special administrative status by the 2004 Protocol on the Resolution of the Abyei Conflict in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended Sudan’s civil war.
Under the terms of the Abyei Protocol, which was part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the residents of the Abyei have been declared, on an interim basis, to be simultaneously citizens of Sudan’s West Kordofan State and South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal State until Abyei’s permanent status is determined through a referendum.