Abyei Town main market closed as traders protest its relocation to new site

Aniet market, Abyei Administrative Area | Credit: | AIRS 2020

Traders have closed shops in Mulmul market in Abyei Town in protest to the relocation of the market to Nyinkuac area located within the same town. 

The shops remained locked since Wednesday and reopening them is yet to be known. The move is a response to municipality’s several orders to evacuate the market to create a space for residence. 

The head of traders’ union in Abyei, Mr. Chol Deng Chol is opposing the order, saying they were not included in the plan to move the market and that no proper arrangements underway. 

“They want to relocate us by force. Now there is no security in the new market; no water in the market, no administration set up in the market and the move is being done in a very fast pace. It seems like we are pressuring citizens. If we are to prosperous, then a committee should be formed comprising all government organs and the trader’s union,” said Chol.

Chol defended the position of traders, saying building shops in the residential area is part of development. He argued that shops in Mulmul are in the right place that need no relocation because some are permanent structures.

However, the executive director of municipality Mr. Dut Piok Amuor says Mulmul is meant for residency but not commercial.

First of all, the place called Mulmul is not meant for the market it is a residential area. It is part of the residential areas in Mulmul Boma, this is one. Number two, for the traders to say that they have not been informed this is untrue,  we have informed them and they are aware,” Piok explained.

Regarding the security in the market, Dut says the community police and UN forces will be deployed to provide protection. He says that arrangements to relocate the market are going on as planned and will not be interrupted. 

The order to transfer the market to Nyinkuac was issued more than a year ago.