The Ambassadors of the European Union, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Sweden, Norway and the Special Envoy of Norway to Sudan and South Sudan concluded a two day visit to Abyei, the still contested area between Sudan and South Sudan
According to a statement issued by the EU delegation in Khartoum today, the objective of the visit was to examine the political, security, development and humanitarian situation on the ground.
The European diplomats held meetings with the leaders of Ngok Dinka and Misserya and Dinka Agok, representatives of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), the UN Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) and other UN agencies and NGOs.
During their stay the European diplomats visited Todach and Agok. They had a walk around the Amiet common market and visited projects related to health and the empowerment of women.
The European delegation expressed its concern about the situation of the people in Abyei. The European diplomats agreed that there is need for improved basic services especially in the areas of water, education, health and rule of law.
Abyei the still contested area between Sudan and South Sudan, is the traditional homeland of the Ngok Dinka, who have with strong ties with the South Sudanese Dinka tribe. Herders of the Misseriya, a northern Arab tribe, traverse Abyei and other North-South border areas with their cattle in search of water and pasture in the dry season and to trade goods.
The region witnessed a significant upsurge in cases of cattle rustling, hijacks, and other robberies earlier this year. There is no government or police force in the area and a UN peacekeeping mission, the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), is entrusted with overseeing demilitarisation and maintaining security in the area.