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ABYEI - 3 May 2013

Abyei Joint Oversight Committee resumes meetings

The Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) have resumed their work as it was announced that they held their tenth meeting in the area yesterday in order to discuss the current security situation.

Sudan’s co-chair, Al Khair Al Fahim Al Faki, declared in a press statement that the meeting will be held for two days in order to discuss issues of the trade routes and the voluntary return of the two main communities residing in Abyei.  It is hoped that these latest discussions will promote security and stability in the region.

Al Fahim claimed that the African Union, who are responsible for mediating discussions between the two nations, called on AJOC to resume its meetings in order to implement a series of security agreements formed since March as well as to make plans for administrative and legislative governance in the region.

“This will pave the way for the stability of the humanitarian situation in Abyei,” announced Al Fahim.

Meanwhile, South Sudan’s deputy co-chair, Deng Mading, stated that they the meeting will take place at the UNISFA base, the UN’s Abyei mission and will attempt to address insecurity in the region.  However, he also noted that conditions in the region have been calmer recently and expects the meeting to be successful.

Some residents in the region expressed their concerns about UNISFA’s mandate to protect civilians given the high number of attacks and civilian deaths in the oil-rich border region in recent months.