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Abyei referendum will take place this year, says VP

Author : Daniel Danis | Published: Friday, October 4, 2013

Abyei Area

The Vice President is still hopeful that the Abyei Referendum will take place this year.

James Wani Igga said all that remains is for Khartoum to agree to conduct the exercise for the people of Abyei.

Mr. Wani told World leaders at the UN General Assembly that the referendum represents a fair and equitable solution for the Abyei issue.

Despite appeals to the African Union High Implementation Panel and others, there was no real international consensus on a referendum. Most countries said there needed to be agreement from Sudan.

The Vice President said the lack of movement by the international community on the issue was not a failure on the part of the South Sudan delegation, but rather a lack of will by the international community.

“The delegation has not failed; the government of South Sudan is actually siding with the people of Abyei who do not even differ with the AU.

“It was the AU which proposed October, and if Khartoum had accepted, we would have just gone for its implementation.

“And it is up to the international community and the AU, and of course, with our influence in the South to continue to push for it, although time is already against us.

“But October is still beginning; we will push and see what other improvements can be done –even if it means doing it immediately after October.”

Already, in Abyei, people have been moving back and registering for a proposed vote on the future of the area this month.

Mr. Wani urged the Sudanese government to honor its side of the agreement by allowing the Abyei referendum to take place, demarcating the border and resolving all outstanding issues.

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