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US diplomat in Sudan meets tribal leaders in Abyei

December 9 - 2018 ABYEI
Steven Koutsis, USA Charge d'Affaires to Khartoum
Steven Koutsis, USA Charge d'Affaires to Khartoum

On Thursday, US Chargé d’Affaires in Khartoum, Stephen Koutsis, held discussions with tribal leaders in Abyei about the options for a peaceful resolution of the region’s issues, during his visit to Dafra in the northern part of the contested region on the Sudan-South Sudan Border.

He said in a statement to Ashorooq TV that his visit aims to find out the situation in the region on the ground.

He pointed to his meeting with the leaders of the Misseriya and Dinka Ngok tribes and knowing their opinions and ideas on the peaceful solution of the issue.

The native administration advisor in Abyei, Hamdi El Doudou, said that the continued calm in the region depends on the implementation of what agreed by the countries of Sudan and South Sudan and the implementation of what was agreed between the two countries in 2011 of the joint formation of the executive and legislative and police institutions in the region.

He affirmed the Misseriya tribe’s respect for all the agreements and charters signed by the government, before denouncing the move taken by Juba to appoint an administration for the common peace market without referring to the other party.

He pointed out that Juba’s Resolution 2445 is a clear violation of that agreement and implicit recognition of Dinka Ngok to form a government in Abyei region.


At a conference brokered by the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA)in early July, leaders of the disputed border area’s Misseriya and Dinka communities agreed to seek ways for peaceful coexistence.


Abyei is the traditional homeland of the Dinka Ngok, a tribal group with strong ethnic, cultural, and linguistic ties to the Dinka of South Sudan. Misseriya herders, members of a northern nomadic Arab tribe, seasonally traverse Abyei and other north-south border areas with their cattle in search of pasture in the dry season and to trade goods.

Abyei’s rich oil reserves make the region economically desirable to both Sudan and South Sudan. The area is still contested. Resolving the status of the area is one of the essential steps the two countries need to take to ensure long-term peace in the region.

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