Five people killed in Abyei

Five people killed in Abyei

At least five civilians have been killed by suspected Sudanese armed Ajaira Messiriya militiamen in Abyei, the area administrator has confirmed.

One person is nursing a wound inflicted by a bullet following the attack.

The attack took place in Miodol Village of Rumamer County, East of Town on Sunday, January 2, a day after January 1.

One attacker was killed and the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) captured 11 others at the scene of the crime, said Lt. Gen. Kuol Deim Kuol, the Abyei Chief Administrator.

In a press statement on Sunday which The City Review obtained a copy, Lt. Gen. Deim condemned what he termed as “repeated attacks” by alleged Sudan Armed Forces and its allied militias, demanding for the suspects arrested by the UNISFA be tried in Abyei Court. 

“The Administration and people of Abyei Special Administrative Area seriously condemn repeated attacks by Sudan Army Force (SAF) and Ajaira Missirya Militiamen on innocent civilians,” Deim stated.

“We appeal to UNISFA to hand over the arrested 11 criminals to face justice in Abyei Area Court because once they are handed over to Sudanese authority, they will be released without taking them to court,” he added.

The final status of Abyei— a disputed area with both Sudan and South Sudan claiming ownership—was left to the inhabitants of the area to determine in a referendum to join either of the countries.

In 2013, Dinka Ngok of the area held a unilateral referendum with an overwhelming vote to join South Sudan, which the two countries and the international community failed to recognise.

Since then, the area has been witnessing a series of attacks that have claimed several lives including the Paramount Chief, Deng Kuol Deng by suspected Sudanese armed forces in May 2013.

Deim however, appealed to the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) and UN to put an end to the attacks on civilians in Abyei Area by alleged Sudanese armed forces and their allied Ajaira Missiriya militia.

In August, following deteriorating relations between Ethiopia and neighbouring Sudan, the latter demanded that Ethiopian forces serving in UNISFA in Abyei be replaced. The demand the UN was yet to act upon in the interest of Sudan but Abyei authorities objected.

The UNISFA, initially comprising around 4, 200 troops and 50 police personnel mainly Ethiopians, was established by the UN Security Council in 2011 to monitor the Abyei border. But later, the size of the forces was increased to 5, 326, all of whom are from Ethiopia.

“Finally, we appeal to the UN General Secretariat to suspend the planned replacement of Ethiopian forces in UNISFA because of the current crisis in Sudan,” he said.