Abyei district status becomes the most controversial issue in Sudan now, with few days remaining for South Sudan Referendum. The current negotiations between the two CPA parties on the issue is not making any progress, serious dialogue between the local inhabitants of the region become necessary as it might produce the needed breakthrough.
Conference on dialogue between Messiriya and Dinka Ngoktribes for Peaceful Coexistence, which was organized by Justice Africa Sudan, in the city of Kadugli, the capital of the state of South Kordofan, in the period between 19th to 21st December 2010, represent an unprecedented breakthrough for the problem of Abyei, for the first time the two tribes come together without intermediaries, in 33 years. The last time was in the reconciliation conference which was held in the same city in 1977.
This conference came in a very crucial time in Sudan history, with few days remaining for South Sudan Self-determination Referendum, which is supposed to be held in January 2011. Also a mid-lack of trust between the two parties to the CPA and political polarization in the area, in the last six months there are many endeavors to bring the two sides together without success.
The main expected outcome of the meeting is to bring the two parties together to allow them talk to each other face to face, without any intermediary, to build confidence between the parties as the basis for any future dialogues.
The conference was organized at the request of the Messiriya and Dinka Ngok, tribes after field visits undertaken by the organization through its Special Committee for Abyei. The two consultations came out with the views of each party on what issues they think needed to be addressed. The main purpose is to bring together the parties in the conference to talk about the chances of peaceful coexistence and building social peace, regardless of the outcome of the referendum of Southern Sudan. At the time, when the negotiations between the two parties to the CPA, the National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) is not making enough progress specially with regard to the status of Abyei, the inter-tribal dialogue become very important.
We were fully aware that this conference will not resolve all the problems at once but will build confidence between the parties and start the process which engages the two parties in serious dialogues to resolve the current deadlock.