Sudan threatens not to recognize south's independence if its constitution includes Abyei

09:26, April 29, 2011      

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Sudanese President Omar al- Bashir on Thursday threatened that Sudan would not recognize the newly born South Sudan State if the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) decided to include the oil-rich Abyei region in its new constitution.

"We will not recognize South Sudan State if it tried to include Abyei in the new constitution of the south," al-Bashir said Thursday when addressing a gathering in Al-Fula area in South Kordofan State.

"If the SPLM tried to include an inch of the Sudan State we will not recognize their state. Abyei issue is Sudan's issue and not the SPLM's," he added.

Abyei lies some 900 kilometers southwest to the Sudanese capital Khartoum and is currently laying within the northern Sudan areas, namely south-west of South Kordofan State.

Thabo Mbeki, chairman of the African Union (AU) High Panel on Sudan, has earlier provided a package of suggestions to the Sudanese government partners, including affiliating Abyei to south Sudan with a presidential decision, granting the Mesiria tribe political and pastoral rights, and enabling them to participate in the area's authority. He also proposed the Mesiria be represented by one-third of the Abyei administration and be given a province in the area together with flexible borders without tough restrictions.

Mbeki's proposals also included giving the Mesiria a double nationality after the southerners opted for separation, dividing Abyei between north and south Sudan, as well as returning to the Abyei protocol and conducting a referendum according to the protocol and a Hague court's decision.

Two-thirds of Sudan's oil is produced in Abyei and the country' s longest oil pipeline starts from the area.

Source: Xinhua
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