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Sudan, South Sudan Officials to Discuss Security Issues in Abyei

Sudanese and South Sudanese officials will meet tomorrow in the disputed town of Abyei to discuss security issues, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said.

Delegates from both countries will discuss transitional arrangements for the Abyei area, al-Obeid Murawih, a spokesman for the ministry, said in a phone interview today from Khartoum, the Sudanese capital.

“Reconciliation in the area between the Misseriya tribesmen and the Ngok Dinka tribes will be also discussed,” Murawih said.

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 Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, in a 2009 ruling, 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.

Sudan’s army seized Abyei town in May last year after accusing South Sudan’s security forces of attacking its troops two days before while they were withdrawing from the region with a United Nations convoy. Sudanese forces withdrew in May 2012.

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