FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tracy Fehr, [email protected], +1 202-459-1219
WASHINGTON – The success of the recent agreement between Sudan and South Sudan ultimately hinges on the resolution of the remaining outstanding issues, chief among them is the final status of the disputed Abyei area, argues a new Enough Project brief.
Abyei, which is the traditional homeland of the nine Ngok Dinka chiefdoms, straddles the ill-defined international border separating the two Sudans. For decades, the international community has lacked the political will to safeguard the rights of Abyei citizens and to ensure that Khartoum implements the agreements it has signed concerning the area’s status.
However, according to the brief, the A.U. Peace and Security briefing later this month offers an opportunity for the international community to adopt and implement a final agreement on this outstanding issue.
“Despite Abyei’s central role as a catalyst for North-South tensions, the international community has historically dodged the difficult issue of the area’s final status,” said John Prendergast, co-author of the report and Enough Project Co-founder. “Determining the final status of Abyei and resolving the other outstanding issues is imperative for any sort of sustainable peace between the two countries, as well as for the successful implementation of the September 27 agreements between Sudan and South Sudan.”
The brief recommends that when President Thabo Mbeki briefs the A.U. Peace and Security Council on the agreements between the Sudans, he should present the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel’s proposals on the remaining outstanding issues, including the status of Abyei. Further, Mbeki should propose unfettered international humanitarian access into Blue Nile and South Kordofan, as well as support for a North-North negotiation process, and call on the U.N. Security Council to enforce such efforts.
"President Mbeki's upcoming report to the African Union provides him with a unique opportunity to set the tone for the international community's response to the remaining outstanding issues, among them the final status of Abyei," said Jennifer Christian, co-author of the report and Enough Project Sudan Policy Analyst. "President Mbeki should present the AUHIP's proposal on Abyei in its entirety and request that both the AU and the UN ratify the proposal as the final resolution to the two Sudans' dispute over the area. If history teaches us anything, it’s that a failure on the part of the international community to take a strong stance on Abyei now will very likely result in further violence on the ground in the near future."
Read the Full Report: “Forgotten Again: How the World Has Failed Abyei”
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.