Kiir is ‘well situated’ to solve Abyei dispute and should recognize 2013 referendum – Luka Biong
South Sudan’s renowned academic and former Sudanese minister of cabinet affairs is saying that President Salva Kiir Mayardit is well situated and has a rare opportunity to solve the dispute with neighboring Sudan on Abyei.
This comes a week after armed Arab armed men attacked a village in the Ngok Dinka enclave killing at least twelve people and injured dozens.
“President Salva grew up in the region and knows the strategic importance of Abyei area. He fought the first civil war and witnessed the heroism of Abyei sons including Doldol Nyang during Anyanya warfare,” Biong said on his Facebook profile.
“President Salva oversaw and supported Abyei International Border Arbitration when he designated me as his agent during the international arbitration and he accepted full heartedly the award of the Abyei International Trinunal. President Salva accepted not only the 2012 AU Proposal of the Final Status of Abyei but he personally supported indirectly the 2013 Abyei Community Referendum and its outcome that was supported by the ten states of South Sudan,” he added.
Biong who served in the defunct autonomous Government of Southern Sudan as minister in the office of the president said Kiir had unwavering commitment to resolve the Abyei dispute.
“Working with him as a minister of his office during difficult times of CPA implementation, I have no doubt of the unwavering commitment of President Salva to the cause of Abyei as he is a true son of Abyei,” he said.
He further said President Salva Kiir “has moral and political obligation to officially accept the outcome of the 2013 Abyei Community Referendum and to ask the parliament to do the same and to use such a decision as a basis to engage with Khartoum to either accept the outcome of the 2013 Abyei Referendum or to accept the 2012 AU proposal of the Final Status of Abyei.”
In 2013, a unilateral referendum conducted by the people of Abyei resulted in the voting of the Abyei residents for joining South Sudan.
However, President Salva Kiir’s government and its Sudanese counterpart under Omar al Bashir refused to recognize the Abyei referendum.
Biong further said “President Salva, you have a rare opportunity to leave behind a legacy as a leader who resolved the final status of Abyei and history will not forget your contribution.”