k) Conflict in Abyei

The issue of Abyei is a grave matter in terms of bringing lasting peace to the country. According to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the region of Abyei must hold its own referendum, and decide whether to go with the south, or remain with Sudan. As such, the CPA set forth two referenda in Sudan, the South Sudan referendum as to whether to split from Sudan and the Abyei referendum as to whether to join South Sudan in its secession. Nevertheless, the voting in Abyei did not happen as stipulated largely because of the dispute over who has the right to vote in the region. Until now the referendum on Abyei is yet to be rescheduled, and the tension is rising in the region. The Government of Sudan is calling for all the residents of Abyei to take part in the referendum while the SPLA/M wants to exclude non-Dinka residents. Recently, the standing Abyei Committee has formed a new committee called the Joint Technical Committee to look at the case again, as well as the case of Kadugli.

Many humanitarian aid and relief services, such as the World Food ProgramWorld VisionOxfamCordaid and Care International, have a presence in the area. Secession from Sudan will not necessarily solve the economic problems for Abyei. Further, the situation in Abyei is worsening in terms of security and disputes over land now that South Sudan has become independent.

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