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Several feared dead in two separate attacks on Abyei

Map of Abyei

By James Atem Kuir

Several people are feared in Abyei Special Administrative Area after the disputed region came under two separate attacks from Misseriya Arab nomads and armed groups from neighbouring Warrap State on Saturday, Police said.

Brigadier General James Dak Karlo, the Deputy Spokesperson of the National Police Service said in one incident, fierce clashes broke out in Abyei after Misseriya nomads from Sudan staged attacks on Saturday morning but couldn’t-ascertain the number of casualties incurred in the fighting.

In another attack, General Dak said attackers from neighbouring Warrap State also clashed with residents in Abyei but the fighting was de-escalated with the help of the United Nations Interim Force for Abyei (UNISFA), a peacekeeping force providing security to the region.

No casualties were immediately reported.

“We received reports from Abyei of another attack by Misseriya. The Misseriya who have been in conflict with the Ngok-Dinka people of Abyei carried out attacks on Saturday. we received reports that there are clashes in the morning but we do not have details of casualties at the moment due to poor network,” the police officer narrated to Juba Monitor yesterday.

“And then, you have clashes between Twic and Ngokthat also occurred yesterday but was brought under control with the help UNISFA. Again, we do not have the details of the incident due to lack of communication we had a problem communicating with those on the ground due to poor network connectivity,” General Dak added.

Efforts to connect to Kuol Deim Kuol the Chief Administrative of Abyei Administrative for details about the attacks were futile as his known contacts were unreachable.

Abyei, a disputed region between South Sudan and Sudan has continued to witness violence over the years as armed Misseriya herders who migrate to the region to look for pasture clash with the natives NgokDinka.

In January this year, at least five people were killed one injured after a group of armed Misseriya herdersattackedMiodol village, located 29kilometres north-east of Abyei town, the headquarters of the Abyei Administrative Area.

The oil-rich area is under the protection of the UNISFA’s force which was established to take charge of the area security in 2011 by the United Nations Security Council in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1990 after tension between south Sudan and Sudan intensified over the region.

Last month, 16 people were killed and 50,000 people displaced when armed group from the Twic community of Warrap State clashed with their neighbours in Abyei.

The fighting led to the destruction of the disputed trade hub, Aneet Market whose ownership is claimed by both communities.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit has since established a factfinding committee led by Presidential Advisor for Security Affairs, Tut GatluakManimeto investigatethe circumstances surrounding the clashes.

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