The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) called on the government to expedite the withdrawal of its army out of Abyei and stop the violence in the region. The NDA, which is an umbrella coalition of opposition forces, also called for allowing the presence of peacekeeping forces in the area – namely, the United Nations Mission in Sudan. Farouq Abu Issa, the NDA spokesman, said in an interview with Radio Dabanga that the action of the government in Abyei was violent and unjustifiable. He considered it as a step that could disrupt the peace and destroy chances of having good relations between the North and South. Abu Issa also stated that the way the government dealt with the delegation of the UN Security Council, which visited Sudan recently, was ‘very insulting.’ He called on to the two peace partners, SPLM and the Government of Sudan, to initiate on solutions for the region.
In the meantime, a South Sudanese official said on Friday that close to eighty thousand people have fled Abyei since the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) took over the disputed area a week ago. Dominic Deng, commissioner of Twic County — which neighbors Abyei and hosts the majority of the refugees from the area — said that the situation is going from bad to worse. The displaced people are sleeping under trees. The United Nations announced in a statement that more than 800 metric tons of food materials were looted in Abyei, as well as materials for humanitarian aid.
Photo: Abyei was looted and partly burned after SAF forces took the town a week ago (UNMIS/Stuart Price).