Source: Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

Bodies of people killed by Misseriya armed men in Komol village of Abyei area on 22 January 2020 (ST photo)
January 23, 2020 (KHARTOUM/JUBA) - Sudan's Sovereign Council Thursday denounced the failure of UNISFA forces to protect civilians in Abyei after two clashes that resulted in the death of over 30 people

Three people were killed after a clash between Dinka Ngok and Misseriya in Kolom, near Noong, about nine kilometres North-West of Abyei town on Monday on 20 January.

In a revenge attack, a large number of Misseriay armed men attacked Kolom on Wednesday 22 January killing 32 people according to Dina Ngok leaders and wounded 24 others. Also, they say that the assailants abducted 15 children, and burned 22 houses.

Reacting to the bloody attack, the Sovereign Council Spokesman Mohamed al-Faki condemned the attack and pointed an accusing finger to the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei.

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"We, in the Council of Sovereignty, hold the UN mission responsible for the deteriorating security situation in Abyei," he said.

The protection of civilians "is its full responsibility, given that the region is disputed and under the umbrella of the UN," he added.

For his part, the head of the Sudanese delegation to the peace negotiations and the leading member of the Sovereign Council, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo Hemetti, met with President Salva Kiir and conveyed to him an oral message from the Chairman of the Transitional Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, related to the events of Abyei.

Following the meeting, Hemetti stated that a comprehensive investigation will be conducted on the incident.

He further pointed to ongoing consultations with the South Sudanese government to establish a joint mechanism to protect civilians in the disputed area and to form joint forces stationed near Abyei for this purpose.

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On his part, South Sudanese Presidential Advisor for security affairs, Tut Kew Gatluak, said that his government condemns the unfortunate events in the Abyei area.

He added that Sudan and South Sudan agreed to form a joint committee from both countries to investigate tribal violence.

In a separate development, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Gwi-Yeop Son, condemned the tribal violence and announced that humanitarian teams arrived in the area.

"The humanitarian organizations on the ground are providing healthcare assistance, including emergency surgical operations, to the affected people," Son said on Thursday.

The head of the Abyei Administration from the South Sudanese side, Kuol Alor accused the Sudanese army and Misseriya militiamen, supported by the Popular Defence Forces, of carrying out the attack on the village.

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On the other hand, al-Faki said, "The Sovereign council accepted the resignation of the head of Abyei administration from the Sudanese side, Ahmed Saleh Salouha.

He said a new leader will be appointed to oversee the situation on the ground.

Salouha had submitted his resignation on the fifth of last December.

The Abyei future has to be determined through a referendum in accordance with the 2005 peace agreement with the SPLM, which led to by the independence of South Sudan in 2011.

However, the two parties failed to hold the referendum as the Ngok Dinka refuse the participation of the Misseriya nomad in the consultation.

(ST)

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