On Friday, July 11, 2008, representatives from the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army visited the Peace Palace to deposit with the Permanent Court of Arbitration an Arbitration Agreement on delimiting the Abyei Area.
The parties have agreed to refer their dispute over the Abyei permanent boundaries to “final and binding arbitration” and for the “International Bureau of the PCA to act as the registry and provide administrative support” in accordance with the Agreement and the PCA Optional Rules for Arbitrating Disputes between Two Parties of Which Only One is a State.
Under the Agreement, a five member Tribunal will be constituted to determine the following issues:
“a. Whether or not the ABC [Abyei Boundary Commission] experts had, on the basis of the agreement of the Parties as per the CPA [Comprehensive Peace Agreement], exceeded their mandate which is “ to define (i.e. delimit) and demarcate the area of the nine Ngok Dinka chiefdoms transferred to Kordofan in 1905” as stated in the Abyei Protocol, and reiterated in the Abyei Appendix and the ABC Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedure.
b. If the Tribunal determines, pursuant to Sub-article (a) herein, that the ABC experts did not exceed their mandate, it shall make a declaration to that effect and issue an award for the full and immediate implementation of the ABC Report.
c. If the Tribunal determines, pursuant to Sub-article (a) herein, that the ABC experts exceeded their mandate, it shall make a declaration to that effect, and shall proceed to define (i.e. delimit) on map the boundaries of the area of the nine Ngok Dinka chiefdoms transferred to Kordofan in 1905, based on the submissions of the Parties.”
The parties designated agents to represent them in the dispute.
The Government of Sudan also deposited a request for assistance from the PCA’s Financial Assistance Fund.
The parties met on July 11, 2008 in the Office of the PCA Secretary-General to deposit the Arbitration Agreement. Seated from left to right: H.E. Abuelgasim A. Idris, Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan to The Netherlands, Ambassador Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed, Agent of the Government of Sudan, Maurizio Brunetti, Special Counsel, PCA; Judith Levine, Legal Counsel, PCA; Hon. Dr. Luka Biong Deng, Minister of Presidential Affairs, Government of Southern Sudan and Co-Agent for the SPLM; Mr. Sayed A. Ahmed, Legal Counselor, Embassy of the Republic of Sudan in The Netherlands