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The Abyei Arbitration: A Model Procedure for Intra-State Dispute Settlement in Resource-Rich Conflict Areas?

Freya Baetens, Rumiana Yotova



In 2009, the Permanent Court of Arbitration administered a unique case: the Abyei Arbitration between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army. This case is unique in several aspects: first, it is an example of intra-state dispute settlement in a conflict zone rich in natural resources, second, it was conducted under a fast-track procedure, and third, it was fully transparent, with all documents and full webcast of the proceedings still available on the PCA website. Currently there is a large number of outstanding intra-state disputes, not limited to Africa, so this paper assesses why the Parties in the Abyei Arbitration  chose arbitration in the first place and whether this model could be successfully applied to other similar disputes.


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