Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


+99% of Abyei's Dinka vote to join S Sudan

31 October 2013, 19:39

Juba - Residents of contested region Abyei chose overwhelmingly to join South Sudan in an unofficial referendum, election officials said on Thursday, amid warnings the poll could inflame tensions in the volatile region.

Only one of the two ethnic groups living in the area voted in the poll, which is not recognised by either Khartoum or Juba and which the African Union has warned is a "threat to peace".

The fate of Abyei is one of the most important and sensitive issues left unresolved since South Sudan became an independent state in 2011, ending two decades of civil war in Sudan.

"The referendum committee has announced the results, and the number of people who have chosen to become part of South Sudan is 99.9% of the vote," Luka Biong, spokesperson for the Abyei Referendum High Committee, told AFP.

Celebrations including dancing and music broke out after the results were announced, he said.

African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has said the vote was illegal and its organisers risk sparking a return to war between civil war foes in Juba and Khartoum.

"They pose a threat to peace in the Abyei area, and have the potential to trigger an unprecedented escalation on the ground... with far-reaching consequences for the region as a whole," she said in a statement on Monday.

Tim Flatman, an independent observer in Abyei, said that 63 433 of 64 775 registered voters voted in the three-day poll which closed Tuesday night, quoting official results.

Only 12 voted to be part of Sudan, a number vastly outweighed by even the 362 spoiled ballots, Flatman said, adding that initial observations suggested a "very transparent process".

Patrolled by about 4 000 Ethiopian-led UN peacekeepers, the area is home to the settled Ngok Dinka tribe, closely connected to South Sudan, as well as the semi-nomadic Arab Misseriya, who traditionally move back and forth from Sudan grazing their cattle.

Only the Ngok Dinka voted - although organisers insist it was open to all residents -- and the Misseriya have already angrily said they will not recognise the results of any unilateral poll.

"The people are celebrating, there is dancing and music, and the nine chiefs of the Dinka Ngok are marching, they will sign a declaration of commitment to join South Sudan," Biong added.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Advice from a young married Kenya...

I was just going to get water in the office kitchen and thought a simple hi was fine until I ended up in an hour long conversation with someone. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Helping you find the type of man ...

To put it simply, you can’t go looking for fish in a meat market; you have to go to a fish market. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Decision to leave ODM for Jubilee...

The decision to leave ODM for Jubilee is final, an MP has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM accuses Jubilee Party of usin...

ODM claims that the Jubilee Party is using state resources to campaign in west Pokot. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Mudavadi set for 2 month long wes...

Musalia Mudavadi is set for western Kenya campaigns.

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
I need a miracle to win in 2017, ...

An MP says that he needs a miracle to win the 2017 elections but has not given up on victory despite the odds being against him. Read more...