Home Main Story South Sudan’s Kiir Forms Abyei Oil Exploration Committee

South Sudan’s Kiir Forms Abyei Oil Exploration Committee

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Salva Kiir

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has formed an Abyei development committee, backtracking his unilaterally declared commitment to pursuing cooperation with Sudan to amicably settle the final status of the disputed region.

Kiir, the state-owned television (SSBC) announced on Tuesday, appointed Arop Deng Kuol as the new committee’s chairperson deputized by Mayen Wol Jong.

Daniel Mading was appointed a rapporteur for the newly-established committee.

Other members on the development committee are Juan Alis Joshua, Charles Abyei Dongor, Ayuel Ngor Ayuel and the Dinka Ngok paramount chief, Bulabek Deng Kuol.

The committee is tasked with creation of a cooperation framework for the development of oil and other natural resources in the Abyei Area pursuant to the joint presidential communique of 18 March 2022 with respect to cooperation on the two nation’s borders.

Kiir, in the republican order, also directed the committee to ensure that the cooperation framework achieves high social-economical, ecological, and technological standards and to engage with communities to ensure their participation and outreach to international partners and the development of oil and other natural resources in the Abyei Area.

The committee will with the Ministry of Petroleum and any other relevant government institutions, which shall furnish the sub-committee with all the necessary guidance.

Foreign analysts argued that Kiir’s decision to appoint a committee undermines efforts to cooperate since the newly formed committee would carry out oil exploration in the disputed area without prior consultation or agreement with Sudan.

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