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Documents prove that the Abyei region belongs to the Arab Misseriya--a nomadic tribe found in northern Sudan--said Sudanese Minister of Sciences and Technology Eissa Bushra, a leader of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party. In a Monday press statement, Bushra said that documents and historical facts belie claims that Abyei belongs to the south.
He described such declarations as a "conspiracy" aimed at all Sudanese people. According to Bushra, in the past, the area witnessed peaceful coexistence between Misseriya nomads and Dinka Ngok clans, southern Sudan’s main ethnic group.
Sudan is going through tough times, said Bushra. He accused certain parties--which he failed to name--of serving foreign interests.
Contrary to what is being promoted by foreign and domestic rivals, he added that southern secession will not represent the country’s collapse. Meanwhile, Misseriya threatened to declare northern sovereignty over Abyei on 9 January in the event that the Dinka Ngok decides to hold its own referendum.
On 9 January 2011, the south will vote on whether to choose independence or remain with the north. People living in oil-rich Abyei had been scheduled to vote that same day on whether Abyei would join an independent south.
Last month, assistant to Sudan’s president Dr. Nafie Ali Nafei declared that a separate referendum concerning Abyei’s fate would not take place with the general referendum on 9 January as originally planned.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.