By: Ahmed Alhaj (Site Admin)
Khartoum,(sudanow)- The National Congress party side to the Addis Ababa talks on Abyei said differences over who is authorized to vote in the referendum on the oil rich areas of Abyei was one of the main reasons behind the tension with its partners, the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM).
General Salah Abdullah Gosh told a press conference on Thursday that the SPLM delegation to the talks was working to see that the Massiryah Nomads should have no right to vote in the referendum and that regrettably the American mediators have based their paper on the issue on this positions adopted by the SPLM.
Gosh , Head of the Government delegation and the Presidential Advisor on Security Matters said the American paper was unjust toward other ethnic groups in the area but stressed that the government was keen to resolve the Abyei question peacefully and that the question should not be a cause for creating tension between the north an the south
But the official responsible for the Abyei Dossier within the ruling National Congress Party, Al Didiri Mohamed Ahmed said his side to the talks was convinced that the referendum on Abyei could not be conducted as scheduled because the matter related to who should be legally in position to vote in the plebiscite has not yet been agreed upon by the parties concerned.
He said there would be no referendum in Abyei without settling the final status of Abyei and without defining who is legally authorized to vote, in a way that would guarantee the rights of all inhabitants of the area in an equal manner.
He argued that the SPLM has put forward some impossible conditions including the condition that those who have the right to vote should have spent five uninterrupted years of stay in the area, with the intension to deny the Missyriah the right to vote in the referendum on Abyei. He said the government delegation to the talks has rejected this proposal and insisted that all persons living in the area for three successive months be legally in position to vote as was the case with the same condition set during the presidential and general elections last April in the whole country.
He said the American mediators have proposed 185 days as the minimum stay time for those who have the right to vote which was accepted by the National congress party delegation but rejected by the SPLM side. He said the Americans then put the time at 200 days but that the movement has anew rejected the proposal and thus "we have to look for a new option."
He said the structure of the mediation has been changed with the former South African present Thabo Mbeki chairing the negotiation while the American Envoy Gen Scott Gration is assisting him and the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zinawe acting as the supervisor o the negotiations.
It is to be noted that there are four delegations to the Abyei talks including the Arab Missyriah, the Dinka Ngok, the National Congress Party (NCP) and Government of National Unity.
The talks have now been discontinued as the two main stakeholders, the NCP and the SPLM, differed over procedural and core matters. The talks are due to resume with a new team taking over the negotiations reign in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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