AU condemns holding of unilateral referendum in Abyei

Addis Ababa, October 30/2013 (WIC) - The African Union Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma condemned the organization by the leadership of the Ngok Dinka community of a unilateral “referendum”, to determine the final status of Abyei, AU said. The Chairperson stressed that this unilateral act is unacceptable and irresponsible, according to a press release issued by the AU.

She said this act is in violation of the relevant decisions of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), and can only heighten tension on the ground and further complicate the search for a mutually acceptable solution within the framework of existing commitments.

She called on those orchestrating this illegal act to put an immediate halt to their actions, as they pose a threat to peace in the Abyei Area, and in the relations between Sudan and South. Such escalation could also put the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) peacekeepers in a very dangerous position, the Chairperson said.

The Chairperson acknowledged the rejection by the Government of South Sudan of any unilateral action in Abyei. She also called on the international community, including the United Nations, to condemn the ongoing unilateral and irresponsible action in Abyei, and to prevail upon those concerned to cease it immediately.

The Chairperson also called for the expeditious implementation the Agreement on Temporary Administrative and Security Arrangements for the Abyei Area. In this respect, she welcomed the decisions reached by the Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan during their recent Summit in Juba.

According to ENA, she further urged the Abyei communities to exercise utmost restraint and give maximum cooperation to UNISFA in order to ensure the maintenance of peace and stability in Abyei.