32 people, including a UN peacekeeper, have been reported dead as a result of a wave of attacks in Abiye, a territory that is disputed by both South Sudan and Sudan.
This incident happened in the early hours of the morning of November 20, 2023 due to a retaliatory attack on Ngok Dinka in the Wuncuei and Nyiel districts of the Abyei Administrative Area by armed youth from Twic County, a neighboring state in South Sudan called Warrap. This was a continuation of the deadly violence that broke out in the region last week.
Arou Manyiel Arou, Secretary General in the Office of the Administrator for the Abyei Administrative Area, said that the attackers came from the Ajak-Kuach area.
He added that the residents saw these attackers being aided by suspected soldiers of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) and were even dressed in the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces uniforms.
Bulis Koch Aguar Ajith, information minister for Abyei and South Sudan’s spokesman for the region, said that the 32 people who were killed and burned inside their huts were mostly women and children and more than twenty (20) people were wounded. said Bulis Koch Aguar Ajith, information minister for Abyei, and South Sudan’s spokesman for the region,
“One UNISFA soldier was killed and another was injured during these barbaric attacks on civilians,” Aguar said.
He added that South Sudan has called for an urgent investigation into the attacks.
Since South Sudan’s declaration of independence in 2011, both Sudan and Sudan have claimed Abyei. Abyei was subject to a unique administrative framework, with a government made up of representatives chosen by both Khartoum and Juba.
Hanna Tetteh, the UN special envoy for the Horn of Africa, said that fighting between the forces of the two generals vying for power in Sudan was going to impair Abiye yet it is already in a precarious state and occasionally unstable local dynamics.
In addition, the 12-year-old UN peacekeeping presence in Abyei, which is currently made up of some 4,000 military and police personnel, was unanimously approved by the UN Security Council this month.