Resolve Abyei crisis urgently, AU tells Sudan leaders
Posted Wednesday, October 23 2013 at 01:00
The African Union (AU) has called on presidents of Sudan and South Sudan to find a final solution to the crisis in the disputed Abyei region.
The call comes after Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir was later yesterday set to visit Juba to meet his South Sudanese counterpart Silva Kiir amid tension between the two countries over a referendum to determine whether Abyei should be in South Sudan or remain in Khartoum.
The AU has demanded the two presidents commit to obligations they made earlier and resolve the long-standing conflicts. The AU high-level implementation panel (AUHIP) headed by former South African president Thabo Mbeki had earlier proposed that the referendum should be conducted this month.
In statement issued on Monday, the AU peace and security council stressed the urgency of establishing the Abyei Area Referendum Commission, including the review, adoption of a revised law in line with the AUHIP suggestion and the submission by the two countries of the list of their nominees to the implementation panel.
“The council calls on the both sides to commit to the full demilitarisation of the Abyei area, including the withdrawal of the police force and its replacement by the Abyei Area Police Service,” the statement read in part.
“There should be mobilisation of assistance for Abyei and the implementation of the commitment to provide two per cent of oil revenue originating from Abyei for the development of the area.”