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|November 27, 2009|
Link to full piece here.
by Roger Winter- former USAID manager and former US State Department special envoy for Sudan assigned to follow Darfur dossier and implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
November 26, 2009 — Having visited Abyei on numerous occasions over the last fifteen years, it has become a place that I regularly go to see President Bashir and his National Congress Party at their predictable worst. Visually, the destruction of May 2008, when Abyei’s market and most of its homes were burned to the ground by Bashir’s 31st Sudan Armed Forces Brigade, were, of course, the most striking sights. Abyei’s civilians fled south, displaced once again. To top things off, the 31st blew up the facilities of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement, the NCP’s ‘partner’ in the mis-named Government of National Unity. This wanton destruction by Khartoum’s forces was followed by both Parties presenting their cases to the Permanent Court of Arbitration(PCA) in the Hague. On July 22 of this year the PCA rendered its findings which both Parties committed to implement, including by properly demarcating the borders.
But the dark storm clouds of Bashir and his NCP, along with the criminals of the 31st Brigade, are not far away. Both Bashir and his NCP have a perfect record insofar as agreements are concerned; they NEVER , EVER keep an agreement they sign. --.
The task of the demarcation team is to lay out Abyei’s boundaries pursuant to the PCA decision. This involves working in the field, on the ground and in the air, to plot out and mark the boundaries with pillars and markers so that there is no question of the border’s location. The plan was to install between 25 and 30 major pillar markers along with smaller markers between pillars. So far, four pillars have been installed, all in southern locations. When visiting other areas for their preliminary work, the team has been threatened with death and bodily harm. The process is now at a standstill. The demarcation task was to have been completed in November.
Bashir has publically made promises to the Misseriya community about Abyei’s future. His promises are all at odds with the Abyei Protocol of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, not to mention the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. He obviously couldn’t care less about demarcation. He wants Abyei and he wants it all.