Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The situation in the border town of Abyei is complicated after looting

The situation in Abyei, border town between the North and South Sudan whose ownership is disputed both regions, worsened on Monday with the burning and looting by unidentified assailants who might be linked to the Northern troops, the Last weekend took control of the city. The considered "invasion" by the Government of Southern Sudan came just days after 22 soldiers were killed north of the South after an ambush on a UN convoy allegedly carried out by armed groups supported by Juba.

Despite international demands to withdraw, the Security Council the UN said Monday that the army of the North refuses to give up their positions in Abyei, a town that currently does not belong to either party and whose future should have been held in January in a referendum has been postponed sine die.

Despite his army's movements, the Sudanese president, Omar Bashir, said last Monday that the North wants a "peaceful solution" to the conflict. "We are trying to resolve outstanding issues and get rid of the tensions in Abyei and pursue a peaceful solution to Abyei," Bashir said on Monday at a regional summit.

Experts fear that the large military presence in the North lights the fuse of conflict, a situation that otherwise is not new in Sudan, which has suffered two civil wars since independence in 60 years that have left more than two million dead and four million displaced. Southern Sudan, which it describes as illegal invasion happened, for its part accuses Khartoum of provoking the conflict and avoid by all means Abyei fall into control of the Southern forces from July 9, the day on which the region will become the youngest nation on the planet.

"What that Khartoum is trying to do is not take Abyei, but we do not get to 9 July," said Anne Itto, Deputy Secretary General of the Movement for the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM, in English), party hegemony in the region, where 75% of the half a million barrels the country produces daily.

Both North and South demanding their rights to property in a land rich in pastures, but also with abundant oil fields, the main source of income in the largest country in Africa. The referendum was postponed in January due to lack of consensus on boundaries and who is entitled to vote. The consultation should settle questions about who owns the region, in which live two warring tribes.

The tribe of the miserriya-with links to the regime of land use North of Abyei during several months each year to feed their livestock, a right that could be lost if the city became part of the new nation of South Sudan. The Dinka, a tribe of the South, many of them members of the hegemonic party, claiming the sole right to the land, won in the last civil war in southern Sudan won the right to self determination.

The skirmishes in recent days between the two armies have caused some 20,000 people have left Abyei, while the arrival of supplies to the area has been suspended due to blockage of the road that links North and South, according to Doctors Without Borders. The situation in Abyei has resulted for the time that the United States ensures that it will be difficult to remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism while it continues to occupy the area, which includes Reuters as saying U.S.

special envoy to Sudan, Princeton Lyman.

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