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Sudan Rejects Imposed Solution on Abyei, Foreign Minister Says

Sudan will not accept the international community’s attempt to impose a settlement on the disputed border region of Abyei, said Foreign Minister Ali Karti.

Sudan “will not at all accept any solution that will be imposed by the African Union, or the United Nations Security Council,” Karti said in an interview in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, today. “Imposing solutions will not make them lasting solutions.”

Sudan and South Sudan were given six weeks from Oct. 24 by the African Union’s Peace and Security Council to consent to its mediator’s proposal to reach a deal on Abyei. The deal was accepted by South Sudan and rejected by Sudan.

The continental bloc said if its proposal was not agreed by the two countries before the now-expired deadline it would endorse it as “final and binding” and submit it to the United Nations Security Council.

Abyei is contested between the region’s Ngok Dinka people, who are settled in the area and consider themselves southerners, and Misseriya nomads who herd their cattle south in the dry season and are supported by the government in Khartoum.

The African Union proposal said only people who reside in the area would be eligible to vote in a referendum on which country Abyei belongs to. In 2009, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague set Abyei’s borders to the area around Ngok Dinka settlements. That largely excluded the Misseriya, who say that as seasonal inhabitants of the area, they should also have the right to vote.

Karti said Sudan wants further mediation on the Misseriya issue, “taking into consideration that there is a big community living there with Dinka Ngok and they have to be considered.”

The African bloc’s security panel is meeting today in Addis Ababa to discuss the situation between Sudan and South Sudan.

To contact the reporter on this story: William Davison in Addis Ababa at wdavison3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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