Success of Sudan Oil Deal Could Hinge on Abyei

Posted: October 13, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan
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AU Awaits Mbeki Report

The long term success of an oil and security deal between Sudan and South Sudan could depend on the much disputed Abyei border region.

That’s why Princeton Lyman, the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, says Abyei’s exclusion from the agreement between presidents Omar al-Bashir and Salva Kiir is “a big, big loss.”

And Lyman says it’s going to take a lot of work, by both governments, to demilitarize the border and deal with remaining issues such as Abyei and humanitarian access to the border regions of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.

“They should not let these things slip,” he warns.

Thabo Mbeki, the African Union chief mediator, is trying to keep momentum going with talks in Khartoum and Juba ahead of his October 21 report to the AU Peace and Security Council.

Lyman says that’s an opening for the international community to back AU recommendations

on Abyei, a 10,000 square kilometer region straddling the still undefined border between the two nations.

“We didn’t make a lot of progress there,” Lyman says. “This has to be now a very high priority for the international community.”

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