Media Statement

06 May 2013

President Jacob Zuma condemns the killing of the Ngok Dinka Paramount Chief Deng Kuol Deng and a UNISFA Peacekeeper in Abyei

President Jacob Zuma has condemned the incident on 4 May 2013 in Sudan’s disputed Abyei region, in which the Paramount Chief of the Ngok Dinka, Kual Deng Majok, and a United Nations peacekeeper were killed. Two other peacekeepers were seriously wounded in the incident of which one later died. The incident occurred in crossfire between UNISFA troops and Misseriya militia in the Abeyi area. The incident threatens the stability of Abyei, as well as the progress recently achieved by Sudan and South Sudan in addressing their common security and socio-economic challenges.

“I wish to extend our deepest condolences to the Ngok Dinka community and the Government of Ethiopia, the home country of the UN peacekeepers killed in the incident, as well as to the families of those killed and injured. I urge the Sudanese and South Sudanese governments to ensure that those responsible for the attack are brought to justice. I also call on the leadership of Sudan and South Sudan to exercise restraint and to ensure that the current situation does not spiral out of -control,” President Zuma said.

President Zuma further urged the parties to the conflict in Abyei to work with the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) to conduct a transparent and effective investigation into the incident. He also urged the two countries to unconditionally facilitate movement of the UN personnel seeking access to Abyei either for immediate assessment, or to conduct and respond to daily needs of the humanitarian related activities in the region.

President Zuma reiterated both Sudan and South Sudan’s commitment to all agreements signed and the determination to implement them in an effort to normalize and enhance bilateral relations, which he said would likely assist both sides in establishing and providing all the temporary arrangements for the Abyei Administration. He strongly urged both sides to resume, as a matter of priority, negotiations on the final settlement of the Abyei region.

President Zuma finally called on the international community to make a significant contribution to conclusively resolve the Abyei dispute in accordance with the Implementation Matrix. He further called on the international community to establish a more unified and coherent approach that would include monitoring the implementation of both the referendum and most importantly the mechanisms for institutionalizing the rights of the Misseriya.

For further information, please contact Mr. Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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