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Four wounded in new Abyei attack

May 4 - 2020 WAD KURA (ABYEI)
UN peacekeepers from Kenya in Abyei (UN photo Tim McKulka)
UN peacekeepers from Kenya in Abyei (UN photo Tim McKulka)

Four people including a woman were wounded yesterday in an attack by armed men on a commercial vehicle in Abyei, the disputed area* on the border between Sudan and South Sudan.

Waar Shol told Radio Dabanga that an armed group opened fire on a commercial vehicle near Wad Kura, while it was on its way from Anet to Abyei. Nayat Nakur (15), Shol Aru (27), Paul Shol (26), and Jok Walek (13) were wounded.

The wounded were taken to the hospital of the Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders / MSF) in Agok.

In recent weeks the number of attacks in Abyei have increased. Three weeks ago, four people were killed, two children abducted, and 60 homes destroyed during an attack. A few days later, a group of militiamen fired two rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) at a market before stealing cows.

Last week, Deputy Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, and Tut Galuak, Advisor to the South Sudanese president for Security Affairs, discussed the recent violence and deterioration of the security situation in Abyei.

They agreed that problems (such as the recent violent attacks) that occur from time to time “cannot be allowed to affect the eternal relations between the peoples of the two brotherly countries”. They also indicated they would address the deteriorating security situation ‘in the coming days’.

Umma Party

The National Umma Party (NUP) condemned in a statement the alleged killing of 18 Misseriya herders and the wounding of others in an attack by South Sudanese gunmen on El Gurenti near El Meiram, west of Abyei in West Kordofan on April 26.

In the statement, the party called on the transitional Sudanese government to take full responsibility for the protection of the people in the region, both at home and while travelling.

The NUP also called on the government to quickly contact the government of South Sudan to demand the arrest of the alleged perpetrators, so they can be brought to justice.

The party further emphasised the need for expediting the demarcation of the borders between the two countries and the establishment of customs checkpoints.

In its statement, the party appealed to both the Sudanese and South Sudanese governments to show wisdom and restraint, make every effort to contain the problem, and secure fertile ground for peaceful coexistence.


* Border dispute

Since the secession of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011, both countries claim the border area of Abyei. The region is inhabited primarily by members of the South Sudanese Dinka Ngok clan. It is also the seasonal home of the Sudanese Arab Misseriya herder tribe.

The Abyei status referendum, in which the residents of the region would decide either to remain part of Sudan or become part of South Sudan, was planned to be held simultaneously to the South Sudanese independence referendum in January 2011, but was postponed indefinitely because of disagreements over the process.

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