Abyei: at least 41 dead, 13 wounded in fresh Misseriya attacks
At least 41 civilians have been killed, 13 wounded, and 1,913 herds of cattle raided on three occasions in fresh attacks alleged to have been initiated by the Misseriya Militia.
The Spokesperson of the Abyei Area Administration, Ajak Deng Miyan, said the first attack took place at 6:00 am on April 13, 2022, in Lou village cattle camp, east of Abyei Town. The raid resulted in the killing of five civilians, the injury of one person, and the looting of 1,913 cattle.
He reiterated that the second attack occurred at 9:00 am on the same day. It was alleged to have been caused by the Misseriya militia, who got the support of Kec (Diffra) oil police at Noong village, north of Abyei town. Nine civilians died, among them two women.
He said in this attack, a four-year-old boy was abducted, five people were missing, two huts were burnt down, and the property was looted in the entire village.
Miyan further revealed that a separate attack took place in a market called Amiet Market north of Abyei town, leading to the death of 27 civilians at 10:00am on the same day. Eight community protection committee (CPC) members were also killed. Also, 27 civilians died, and 10 others were wounded while attackers opened fire on everyone in the market.
The spokesperson stated that masses had been displaced as a result of the attacks, and called upon the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) to hold to its mandate of protecting civilians in the Abyei Administrative Area from external aggressors.
“This heinous attack on innocent civilians has led to the displacement of many civilians. “The Abyei Area Administration condemns this barbaric attack in the strongest terms possible and calls upon UNISFA to live up to its mandate and render effective protection to the civilians,” he said in a statement.
Two weeks ago, the author of Sudan: Understanding the oil-rich region of Abyei, Akol Miyen Kuol, who hails from Abyei, said during the Miraya FM Breakfast Show, that determining the status of Abyei was urgent because it was the solution to frequent attacks by Misseriya Militia.
“There is temporary progress in bringing peace in the region, but the real progress will come when the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan, embark on the final status of the Abyei region,” he said.
“This issue of the final status of the Abyei region needs to be solved once and for all, and it doesn’t need more waiting, it is an urgent issue which should be settled right now, not tomorrow.”
He pointed out that the major concerns in the area were continued attacks by militia from Warrap State south of Abyei and confrontation from the Misseriya Arabs from Sudan.
“The main concern is the way these militia groups come from Warrap State and attack the south of the Abyei region.” And then the Misseriya Arabs come from the north, “he stated.
He urged the governments of South Sudan and Sudan to urgently plan the referendum of the people of Abyei to decide whether to be in Sudan or South Sudan.
“If the leadership in this country and the leadership in Sudan are not paying attention, it could turn into genocide to depopulate the Abyei region of the Ngok Dinka, the owners of the land. So, the leadership in the two countries needs to address this issue urgently and settle the final status of Abyei once and for all,’’ he added.
On Monday last week, the senior politicians and scholars, Bona Malwal Madut and Francis Mading Deng, said in a joint statement that the governments of Sudan and South Sudan should speed up the resolution of the final status of Abyei.
“We call on the government of South Sudan to actively and promptly engage the government of Sudan to expedite the resolution of the final status of Abyei in accordance with the aspirations of the Ngok Dinka of Abyei,” the statement read.
“We believe these recent events should not undermine hundreds of years of peaceful coexistence, intermarriages, and shared cultural values between Ngok and Twic Dinka.
The people of Abyei had, on different occasions, been exposed to brutal attacks that left many civilians dead and displaced many more.
In 2013, the people of Abyei voted 99.9 per cent to separate from Sudan and join South Sudan in a referendum organised by the community.