Twelve people, allegedly policemen, were killed in an attack by militant Misseriya tribesmen on Dungoup village in Abyei, on Sunday. At least seven others were injured. Two days before, the same group killed two elderly Dinka in the area west of Abyei town.
Abyei Deputy Chief Administrator Kon Manyiet reported in a press statement yesterday that Dungoup village near Abyei town was attacked around 5:00 on Sunday, by a group of militant Misseriya tribesmen supported by Sudanese army troops based in Kec/Diffra, the northern part of the Abyei Administrative Area.
Twelve “innocent civilians” were killed and seven others were wounded.
Manyiet noted that the forces of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) in the area arrived to the scene two hours after the attack, though they are well aware of the movements of the militant group.
He also said that the same group of Misseriya and army forces on Friday morning killed Manuon Akot (75) from Warrap in South Sudan and Wud Bol Malek from Abyei, in the area west of Abyei town.
“The Abyei Administration and the entire population of Abyei condemn in the strongest terms this brutal, barbaric, and cowardice attacks and the killing of people in the residential areas. Therefore, we urge UNISFA to seize all perpetrators,” the statement reads. “We convey our heartfelt condolences to the families of our fallen heroes for their sacrifices in protecting our land, and wish a quick recovery for our wounded heroes.”
Doctor Ayom Korchick however, told Radio Dabanga on Sunday that “elements of the Ajira Misseriya and the so-called Oil Police based in Kec/Diffra attacked Dungoup village, 12 km north-east of Abyei town, today at 5 pm”.
“Twelve Community Protection Policemen (CPC) were killed and seven were wounded. All the civilians in the village are safe. Our CPC and the UNISFA are now in full control of Dungoup and all the areas around it.”
The medic later reported an eighth policeman injured.
Abyei, an area at the Sudan-South Sudan border, 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 Sudan-South Sudan border areas with their cattle in search of water and pasture in the dry season and to trade goods. The region witnesses many cases of cattle rustling, hijacks, and other robberies.
Since the secession of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011, both countries claim the oil-rich region of Abyei. In the same year, the UN Security Council decided on the establishment of UNISFA, to monitor and verify the redeployment of armed forces from Abyei.
UNISFA also has a mandate to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, to protect the area from incursions by unauthorized elements, and ensure security.
On May 1, Radio Dabanga reported that the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations requested that the Security Council consider a six-month rollover of the UNISFA mandate, citing the volatile security situation.