Friday, October 15, 2010

Abyei: Sudan's Kashmir?

As the countdown to the Southern Sudan secession referundum ticks, the second one for Abyei seems to be much delayed in terms of preparations. Unlike the one for the whole Southern Sudan, the Abyei referundum committee has not even be formed yet. The discussions in Addis Ababa have failed because the Messirya are insisting that they have the right to vote and rejected the Hague Arbitration over land ownership.

Now, the Khartoum government has come out blatantly that . the Abyei referundum may have to be delayed by months. This is already causing a lot of stir in Southern Sudan where people belived that the referunda should take place on time.

Mark this: the Khartoum government is going to use this matter to threaten Southern Sudan about their own referundum on secession - delay Abyei referundum and you will have your secession vote on time; we can then agree on how to manage the oil in Abyei later.

Abyei is fast becoming like Kashmir. It maybe the hotspot that returns the foes to war again. The response of the UNSC to deploy UNMIS troops is a welcomed relief to many people.

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