Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)
JOINT STATEMENT BY THE NATIONAL CONGRESS PARTY AND THE SUDAN PEOPLE’S LIBERATION MOVEMENT ANNOUNCING THEIR FIRM COMMITMENT TO IMPLEMENT THE ABYEI ARBITRATION DECISION
On this 22nd day of July 2009, the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) welcome the decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on the Abyei case. We thank the members of the arbitration panel for their dedication and hard work on this case. Both parties have committed themselves to abide by this decision as final and binding and we stand by that commitment today.
This time last year, the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the SPLM agreed to peacefully settle their dispute over the boundaries of the Abyei Area by submitting the issue to a neutral international arbitration tribunal. The Tribunal, composed of respected arbitrators, chosen and approved by the parties, and guided by rules of procedures dictated by the parties, was asked to evaluate first whether the Abyei Border Commission (ABC) exceeded its mandate, and if so, to define and delimit the area of the nine Ngok Dinka chiefdoms transferred to Kordofan in 1905; if not then the ABC report shall be implemented. Both parties fully participated in the process of the tribunal, were well represented by their counsel, and agreed that the tribunal’s decision would be final and binding on both parties. We reaffirm our intention to fully implement the tribunal’s decision, the Abyei Protocol, and the CPA, including the protection of rights of local communities.
The parties will now work together to disseminate the PCA’s decision to the affected communities, (to) demarcate the Abyei border, and (to) create a joint task force that shall (to) meet with traditional leaders in Abyei and its surrounding areas on a regular basis to support continued implementation of the award. The parties equally confirm their commitment to ensuring a long-term and sustainable peace in Abyei.
As a gesture of its commitment to involve local communities in Abyei in the process of resolution of the dispute, earlier this week the parties brought traditional leaders from these communities to Khartoum for a meeting to discuss the impact of the award, its implementation, and the rights of the communities regardless of the outcome.