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ABYEI - 23 Jan 2020

Death toll in Abyei attack 'rises to 31'

The death toll from Wednesday's attack on civilians in the disputed region of Abyei has risen to 31 from an earlier count of 29, the regional administrator said Thursday.

The incident took place in the general area of Kolom, about nine kilometres north-west of Abyei town.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Kuol Alor Kuol, the head of the Abyei Administrative Area, told Radio Tamazuj that death toll from the attack which targeted civilians in Kolom has risen to at least 31.

He added that the number of those injured in the attack has risen to 24.

For its part, the United Nation Interim Security Forces for Abyei (UNISFA) confirmed the incident, saying the armed attack was reportedly perpetrated by a large number of Misseriya armed men in the general area of Kolom.

It further said troops have been deployed in the general area of Kolom to control movements and contain the situation.  

The UN interim security force strongly condemned the attack, saying it can contribute to the tension and chances of renewed violence in the area.

The Acting Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Mehari Zewde Gebremariam, called on all stakeholders to embrace UNISFA’s peace initiative as a means of easing tension in the area.

General Mehari assured that UNISFA is fully committed to pursuing its mandate to ensure that Abyei is free of arms and armed groups.

The oil-rich Abyei area inhabited by Misseriya Arab nomads in the north and Ngok Dinka people in the south is disputed between Sudan and South Sudan. Abyei is now under the administration of the UN interim security force.