Move with Speed to Resolve Abyei Status: Catholic Bishop to Sudan, South Sudan Governments

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of El Obeid in Sudan has, in his message on the occasion of the commemoration of the ninth anniversary of the Abyei Area Community Referendum, called upon the governments of Sudan and South Sudan to move with speed to resolve the f”inal status of Abyei”.

The Abyei Special Administrative Area (AAA) is located on the border between Sudan and South Sudan.  It was accorded "special administrative status" by the 2004 Protocol on the Resolution of the Abyei Conflict ("The Abyei Protocol") as part of the 9 January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the two decade civil war in Sudan.

It was signed in Kenya by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and the National Congress Party (NCP).

In a statement shared with ACI Africa on Tuesday, November 1, Bishop Yunan Tombe Trille Kuku says, “I am calling on the government of Sudan and South Sudan to accelerate the move to resolve the final status of Abyei because it will end the conflicts between the two rival communities in the area fighting for the land.”

Bishop Trille adds that resolving the status of the Abyei “will help the people living there to be able to know where they belong either to Sudan or South Sudan.”


“The two governments need to work out the agreement to end the hostilities happening in the area,” the Bishop of El Obeid Diocese who doubles as the President of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC) says in the statement shared with ACI Africa.

The Sudanese Bishop invites governments of the neighboring countries “to have peace among themselves because killing each other may not resolve any dispute.”

In his remarks at the anniversary celebration on October 31, the Chief Administrator of Abyei, Kuol Deim Kuol, expressed his appreciation for the Catholic Church in advocating for peace in the area.

According to the Abyei Protocol, the area is to be jointly administered by Sudan and South Sudan.  An Abyei Area Administration was established on 31 August 2008 and was renamed the Abyei Special Administrative Area in July 2015.