Final judgement on Abyei boundary issue within 90 days
From Sudan Radio Service 24 April 2009 (Hague):
Hearings at the arbitration tribunal in The Hague over the disputed oil-rich Abyei region ended on Thursday after heated exchanges in which lawyers from the NCP and SPLM presented different interpretations of the evidence and treaty at issue.
Speaking to Sudan Radio Service from The Hague on Thursday, a senior member of the UMMA National Party, Mariam Sadik al Mahdi, said that Abyei arbitration at The Hague is not the solution to the Abyei problem.
[Mariam Sadik]: “We, as the UMMA party, think that the court is not the solution for Abyei because the problem of Abyei cannot be solved in a court of law. It’s a problem for the people living in the area. They have lived there for hundreds of years and this will not be solved outside Sudan and again the solution cannot be found in a court of law. People should sit down and divide the wealth in the area for people to live in peace and to solve the problem.”
Mariam explains the main problems in Abyei.
[Mariam Sadik]: “The problem in Abyei is divided into three levels, first, there is the problem regarding the people occupying the area, the nomads and farmers. These people should involve the neighboring communities to find a solution to their problem. Second, is at the national level and this is the problem of the whole Sudan because it’s the border issue between north and south, and we need to know what is going on because hopefully the referendum will take place in the next two years. Third, is the wealth problem. There is competition for the wealth between America and China. That’s why the Abyei problem was discussed at the international level.”
She urged the National Congress Party and the SPLM to work together with other parties in Sudan to implement the Abyei protocol.
A five-member panel at the Arbitration tribunal is expected to make a final judgement on the boundary issue within 90 days.