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On Abyei, Rice Tells ICP to Call "Misseriya the Majority" Is a Joke

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, January 22 -- In Abyei, are the Misseriya or the Dinka in the majority? The question has arisen as Sudan and South Sudan negotiate about the composition of the Abyei Area Council.

  On January 22, Inner City Press asked the Permanent Representatives of South Sudan and of Sudan, then Susan Rice of the United States, about it.

Susan Rice was most direct. "To call the Misseriya the majority is a joke," Rice exclusively told Inner City Press.

South Sudan's Francis Deng, previously the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, objected to Sudan asking for fifty - fifty representation.

   Sudan's Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman told Inner City Press this would be more than fair, since "the Dinka are the minority in Abyei."

  He said there were two times as many Misseriya there as Dinka. This is what Ambassador Rice, after declining the question at the on-camera stakeout because she hadn't heard Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman speak, called "a joke" two hours later to Inner City Press.

   Afterward, another Security Council diplomat whom Inner City Press asked about it offered a compromise: "it depends on the season."

  Inner City Press also asked both Deng and Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman about South Sudan's shooting down of a Russian helicopter serving UNMISS. Deng said the investigation is underway.

 Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman quoted Russia, unhappy with the delay. Security Council President Masood Khan told Inner City Press that the whole Council wants a prompt investigation.

Footnote: there were rumblings,  about a Southern Kordofan delegation coming to the UN. Watch this site.

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