Deadly Clashes Erupt in Abyei: 52 Killed in Ongoing Sudan-South Sudan Dispute
Share this:

By The Smartencyclopedia Staff & Agencies


JUBA, South Sudan — A violent attack on villagers in the disputed oil-rich region of Abyei, claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan, has resulted in at least 52 fatalities, including a United Nations peacekeeper, and left 64 wounded, according to a regional official on Sunday.

The assault, which occurred on Saturday evening, targeted villagers in the Abyei region, with the motive suspected to revolve around an ongoing land dispute, as stated by Bulis Koch, Abyei’s information minister, during a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Abyei has been a hotspot for deadly ethnic violence, particularly involving the Twic Dinka tribal members from neighboring Warrap State and the Ngok Dinka from Abyei, who are entangled in a dispute over the Aneet area located at the border.

Saturday’s attackers were identified as armed youth from the Nuer tribe, who migrated to Warrap state last year due to flooding in their areas, explained Koch.

The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) condemned the violence and confirmed that intercommunal clashes occurred in the Nyinkuac, Majbong, and Khadian areas, leading to casualties and the evacuation of civilians to UNISFA bases.

“The UNISFA base in Agok came under attack by an armed group. The mission repelled the attack, but tragically a Ghanaian peacekeeper was killed,” stated the UNISFA release.

Since a 2005 peace deal ended decades of civil war between Sudan’s north and south, Sudan and South Sudan have been in disagreement over control of the Abyei region. The status of Abyei was left unresolved after South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011.

The majority of Ngok Dinka people in the region favor South Sudan, while the Misseriya nomads, who come to Abyei to find pasture for their cattle, favor Sudan. Currently, South Sudan has control over the region.

Although an African Union panel proposed a referendum for Abyei, there was disagreement over eligibility criteria for voters. The deployment of South Sudan’s troops to Abyei in March has further escalated inter-communal and cross-border clashes in the region.

Share this:
All comments.