Soldiers from the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) fired indiscriminately in the Abyei market at 9 p.m., according to the spokesman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Other army troops at a barracks in the Abyei vicinity fired into the air until 2 a.m. The SPLA spokesman Col. Kuol Deim Kuol said this in an e-mail to journalists yesterday.The firing was stopped after the intervention of the local UNMIS and the Area Joint Cease-Fire Military Committee in Abyei area, according to Kuol.
The SAF troops are present in the area as part of the so-called Joint Integrated Unit of JEM and SPLA troops. The officers of SPLA component of the joint force “restrained and control their forces and that was what saved the situation, otherwise if SPLA forces were to respond, it would have been difficult to avoid direct fighting in the town,” said Kuol.
The SPLA spokesman also claimed that SAF has been building up troops around oil fields at Difra (Kech in Dinka), Nyama, Karasana and Heglig. “According to our sources the SAF intention is to invade and occupy the Abyei Area and parts of Unity State,” said Kuol.
Radio Dabanga did not yet contact the army for comment on this news.