5 May 2011 - A high-level two-hour meeting held today in the Southern Sudanese capital of Juba to address the security and political situations in Abyei has resolved that implementation of the Kadugli Agreement must begin immediately.
The meeting came against a backdrop of deteriorating security in the contested Abyei area.
“We agreed that measures have to be taken to decrease the tension in Abyei,” former Burundi President Pierre Buyoya of the Africa Union High Implementation Panel said. “(The) Kadugli agreement has to be implemented as soon as possible.”
Also present at the meeting were Government of Southern Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit, UN Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for Sudan Haile Menkerios and United States Special Envoy for Sudan Ambassador Princeton Lyman.
“We discussed also the political aspect of Abyei,” Mr. Buyoya said. “We have asked the president here and we are going to ask NCP (National Congress Party) also not to do anything which can be seen as unilateral action, and the president agreed.”
In March 2011, the NCP and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed the Kadugli Agreement.
The agreement calls for full and effective deployment of Joint Integrated Units (JIUs) to specific locations in the Abyei region and the immediate withdrawal of all other forces from the area. The JIUs are made up of military forces from both North and Southern Sudan.
In recent days, violence has flared in Abyei amid reports that both the north and south are building up their military presence in the area.
“We all agreed certainly that we must move very rapidly and on a clear time table to reduce any threat of major conflict in Abyei,” said Ambassador Lyman. “The Kadugli Agreement, which provides for withdrawal of forces that are not supposed to be there, provides the vehicle for doing that.”
SRSG Menkerios said that he, Mr. Buyoya and Ambassador Lyman had come jointly to accentuate a common message on issues relating to Abyei.
He added that the UN’s immediate move would be to provide temporary security in Abyei while a solution was sought.
“We have agreed here to immediately move on it,” Mr. Menkerios said. “Before I came here I (also) met with the authorities, the military and otherwise in Khartoum, who expressed their readiness to immediate implementation of the Kadugli Agreement.”