Sudanese army appoints military governor for Abyei

16:03, May 30, 2011      

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The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) has appointed a military governor for the country's disputed oil-rich area of Abyei after the SAF controlled the area on May 20, local Al-Sudani daily reported on Monday.

"The SAF has entrusted Brig. Izz-Eddin Osman to run Abyei Administration," the daily reported.

The appointed military governor of Abyei called on the humanitarian organizations, public service employees and the citizens who left the area in the wake of the recent incidents to return to the town and resume their normal lives, the report said.

"The area is now completely safe," the paper quoted the governor as saying after meeting representatives of the area, urging the executive body to return to contribute to the stability of the area.

The governor also met with representatives of the area's civil administration and discussed the role of the community organizations in provision of services for the citizens and steer the agricultural process.

The SAF on Saturday announced that it had ended its military operations in Abyei and urged the citizens to return to their homes in the town.

The SAF has recently taken control of Abyei in response to an attack by the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) against a SAF convoy which resulted in the deaths of 22 soldiers.

The Abyei events prompted concerns over possibility that north and south Sudan would return to war again just a little more than one month before south Sudan would officially be declared independent on July 9.

In the meantime, Vice President of the south Sudan government Riek Machar arrived in Khartoum on Saturday to hold talks with Sudanese government officials, top of them Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha to reach a solution regarding the dispute over Abyei.

Sudan's ruling National Congress Party (NCP) earlier said it was ready to negotiate with the south Sudan government regarding the Abyei area.

NCP official in charge of the Abyei file Al-Dirdiry Mohamed Ahmed told reporters that the government is open for dialogue and that the African Union will hold a meeting between the two parties to the dispute in Addis Ababa on Sunday to resolve the conflict.

A referendum on Abyei was supposed to be held on Jan. 9, 2011, coincident with the south Sudan referendum, but it was postponed in the wake of a difference between the NCP and Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) over who has the right to vote in the referendum.

Source: Xinhua
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