4 October 2010 – Sudan's Second Vice-President Ali Osman Taha said today that the prerequisite for holding a referendum in the contested Abyei area depended on reconciliation between the two parties.
Addressing a press conference in Khartoum, Mr. Taha said the referendum on Southern Sudan's self-determination would be conducted "on time and in accordance with specifications and conditions as set forth in the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement)".
He added, however, that the referendum planned to take place in Abyei on the same day as Southern Sudan's poll would only happen if the two major tribes of the area, the Dinka Ngok and Misseriya, reached an agreement.
"The implementation of the referendum in Abyei depends on the agreement and acceptance and satisfaction from the two groups in Abyei area, the Dinka and Misseriya," Mr. Taha said.
During the previous weeks, the nomadic Misseriya reiterated their will to take part in the Abyei referendum, a right that had been granted only to the Dinka Ngok by the CPA.
Representatives of the two sides traveled to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on 4 October to discuss outstanding CPA issues.
The Second Vice-President was addressing media representatives after returning from his visit to the United States, where he met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the margins of the UN General Assembly's High-Level Meeting on Sudan.