Sudan peace accord to end row over oil-rich Abyei region

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Sudanese authorities are crafting a formula for the formation of a regional government for the oil-rich Abyei region, which has been one of the most contested bits of the comprehensive peace accord, a Sudanese official said Thursday.

Sudan’s Information Minister’s Adviser, Rabie Abdul-Atti, said the government was in the final process of implementing the comprehensive peace accord (CPA) , with the formation of the Abyei government, expected to be completed early next week.

“We can say the problem of the CPA was being addressed. The government of Abyei will be formed after the government of national unity agrees on the formula,” Abdul-Atti said.

The Southern Sudan government, formed as a result of the CPA, which ended the long-winding conflict with the north, temporarily suspended its relations with Khartoum, accusing the Khartoum-based national government of dragging its feet on Abyei.

The government dismissed claims it was dragging its feet on implementing the land-mark north-south peace deal, reiterating that almost 90 per cent of the entire pact has been implemented with the remaining bits, such as ensuring national unity, still outstanding.

Abdul-Atti said despite criticisms from the international community, a lot of pr ogress has been achieved since the inking of the deal to end the civil war in Africa’s largest country two years ago.

“In general, the provisions of the peace agreement have been implemented. More t han 90 per cent of the provisions of the CPA have been implemented and I think the process is progressing to the full satisfaction of both parties,” Abdul-Atti told journalists here.

He said Khartoum has made major progress in the security, energy, power sharing and security pacts, including other provisions as contained in the CPA, with the pull-out of the national army from the southern Sudanese region nearly completed .

The Sudanese authorities have wrangled over the fate of the oil-rich Abyei, which contains 60 per cent of all the oil fields in the south.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, said last year the outstanding issues on Aby ei was causing suffering to the people there, with the delivery of essential services still affected.

The status of Abyei has remained contentious since the signing of the agreement.

Plans are underway to set up local administration in the oil-rich central region of Abyei.

“We are very sorry for the incidents of clashes that took place in the last one month, but according to wisdom of the members of the Government of National Unity , they are going to form a local administration in Abyei to resolve the problem, ” Abdul-Atti said.

The 2005 peace deal gave independent international experts the job of marking Abyei’s borders, but President Omar Al-Bashir’s National Congress Party rejected its findings.

The adviser said although a few issues regarding the social affairs, peaceful co -existence and promotion of peace agreement among the Sudanese remained to be resolved, the process was continuing well.

“By resolving the problem of Abyei, I can say the CPA will have been implemented by more than 98 per cent. Abyei has been the question of differences between SPLM and NCP,” Abdul-Atti said.

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