Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I must be psychic

How ironic that I wrote the post about Public Holidays in Southern Sudan just last Friday, because guess what? Today was another public holiday called at the last minute (last night at 8pm)!!!! The universe does align sometimes. One of Salva Kiir's presidential advisors, passed away yesterday so today is a "National Day of Mourning." That and I am sure the fact that the Permanent Court of Arbitration made their announcement from The Hague today about the borders of the Abyei region (huge amount of oil, both the North and the South claim it as theirs) also had something to do with it. I spent my morning working, made lentils for lunch, and spent the afternoon packing. More on that in a later post.

Essentially, the court has redrawn the borders of Sudan's Abyei region to give the Khartoum government control of the Heglig oilfields and the Nile oil pipeline. Both the Sudanese and Southern Sudanese Governments pledged ahead of time to abide by the ruling of the court, regardless of the decision. According to the CPA, Abyei will decide whether they want to become part of the North or the South on the National Referendum in 2011. Because of the large presence of oil, the region was hotly contested. However, with this decision, the main oilfield falls within the North anyway, so people may not care as much about the region. We'll just have to see what happens.

Something interesting that piqued my interest is that the panel made their decision largely on a tribal basis - which tribes were on what land at what point in time - since borders were so fluid until well into the 20th century. Not something we normally think about!

The official PCA decision can be found here
A bit of analysis on the region and arguments from both sides can be found here

1 comment:

nyGRINGAinCHILE said...

the opening of this post made me laugh...i could totally see you saying it...miss you xoxoxox