South Sudan Requests AU For An Extraordinary Summit On Abyei

South Sudan has requested the African Union for an extraordinary summit on the Abyei referendum whose fate currently hangs in the balance.

South Sudan Requests AU For An Extraordinary Summit On Abyei
The minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin revealed that he handed over this request to the chairperson of the African Union Commission. [File]

KAMPALA, 14 October 2013 (NASS) - The minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin revealed that he handed over this request to the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma during the recent AU summit.

Dr. Benjamin said the time set aside for Abyei referendum is running out and urged the African leaders to back this process.

Abyei referendum is supposed to be carried out this October but nothing seems to have been done so far. Issues to do with voters’ registration, Abyei administration and commission have not been tackled conclusively.

According to the African Union’s proposal, voters who are eligible for the October referendum were the nine Ngok chiefdoms and any other permanent residents that have stayed for long in Abyei. This proposal was rejected by Khartoum making the preparations for the upcoming plebiscite difficult.

The minister further called on the African leaders to encourage President Omar al-Bashir to support the Abyei referendum so as to enable the people of Abyei to determine their destiny.

Dr. Benjamin also said President Bashir has confirmed that he will be coming to Juba in accordance with the invitation extended to him by President Salva Kiir.

Reported by Martin Jada Gabriel, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)
 

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