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ABYEI - 17 May 2013

Misseriya leader says Abyei should be divided along tribal lines

A prominent Misseriya leader and the paramount chief of Al-Muzagna Misseriya clan, Hamad Al-Dud Ismail, has suggested that a solution to a dispute over the future of Abyei would be its division, along ethnic and tribal lines.

He suggested that the oil-rich, border region of Abyei should be divided whereby the south is inhabited by the South Sudanese-aligned Dinka Ngok and the northern area may be inhabited by nomadic Misseriya groups who identify themselves as Sudanese.

Hamad advocated that this solution would achieve peace, security and would restore a cooperative relationship between the Dinka Ngok and Misseriya.

Earlier this month, Misseriya militia fighters killed the Dinka Ngok Paramount Chief in an attack on a UNISFA, the UN’s mission in Abyei, convoy in which two Ethiopian peacekeeping troops and a companion of the chief were also killed. The Sudanese government reported at the time that 17 Misseriya fighters also lost their lives.

Recent peaceful demonstrations held by Dinka Ngok youth rejected the idea of a joint governing body such as the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) which handles administrative and peace-building issues in the area.