South Sudan ‘won’t be recognized’ with Abyei

Khartoum — Khartoum will not recognize the new state of South Sudan when it declares independence in July if it insists on claiming the disputed Abyei region, President Omar al-Bashir warned on Thursday.

"If they put Abyei in the constitution of the new state of South Sudan, we will not recognize the new state," Bashir told thousands of supporters at a local election rally in South Kordofan, in which the flashpoint border area currently lies.

Abyei is the most intractable of a raft of issues that north and South Sudan are trying to negotiate prior to partition, after southerners voted almost unanimously to split with their former civil war enemies in January's referendum.

Last week, a draft interim constitution for the south was presented to southern president Salva Kiir at a ceremony in Juba, explicitly stating that Abyei fell within the territory of South Sudan, as confirmed by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague in 2009.

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