Statement on the situation in the Abyei Region of Sudan


The Government of the Republic of South Africa expresses deep concern over the escalation of violence in Abyei, Sudan resulting in the loss of lives. The increased tensions over Abyei between the two parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the use of violence threaten to derail the post-referendum negotiations and introduce a dire period of uncertainty as South Sudan prepares for independence.

It is imperative that the two parties address the contentious post-referendum issues, including the border demarcation, the status of Abyei, the sharing of resources, amongst other matters, in a cordial manner that would ensure peaceful and amicable coexistence beyond 9 July 2011. Violence, whether pre-emptive or retaliatory render the people of Abyei vulnerable to displacement and humanitarian strife and result in the further polarisation and the postponement of hopes for peace and security for the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya, who have lived in mutually respectable coexistence for centuries.

The South African Government calls on the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to cease hostilities, while also reaffirming and honouring their commitments to the CPA Protocol on Abyei and the Kadugli agreement. The South African Government hereby expresses its deep appreciation to the African Union High Level Implementation Panel for the role played in mediating between the two parties to the CPA and remains confident that the people of Sudan shall break the deadlock and map a way forward that would ensure lasting peace, security and prosperity for the region.

For further information please contact:

Mr Clayson Monyela (Spokesperson for DIRCO)

Cell: 082 884 5974

Issued by: Department of International Relations and Cooperation
25 May 2011