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ABYEI - 29 Apr 2013

Attack alleged in eastern Abyei

The disputed area of Abyei witnessed an attack by Arab gunmen on Saturday in three villages, according to an SPLM official in the area.

“The villages of Galar four kilometers east of Abyei, Tiok six kilometers and Karmaryor came under attack by SAF Arab militia,” Chol Chagap, SPLM secretary in Abyei.

He claimed that 25 houses were set on fire and four cows were taken by the attackers. An old woman in the village of Galar was also allegedly badly beaten by the militia during the attack. Locals from the affected villages have fled to Abyei town.

A local chief has blamed the UN Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) for failing to control the security situation. Chief Mabek Mabany Abiem of the Manyatiar clan told Radio Tamazuj that different areas of Abyei witnessed regretful events in the last ten days and claimed civilian lives.

Mabany noted that several part of Abyei are insecure due to the presence of Misseriya militia elements. He claimed that the UNISFA are unable to protect civilians and their properties in the region, while Misseriya are attempting to block the referendum process which is supposed to take place by October this year.

He appealed to both two government of South Sudan and Sudan to speed up with the process of formation of Abyei Administration and police forces.

“This is what is happening in Abyei. Just within a period of ten days four people were killed in three different areas. This proves the lack of seriousness and capability of the UNISFA forces to fully protect lives and properties of the natives. From February to March, we counted theft and rape cases both at night and daytime. The citizens tried to save the few remaining properties and migrated to the south of the river,” Mabany explained.

File photo: A resident of Abyei with cattle (Radio Tamazuj)