Aganytok residents demand return of UNISFA’s base

UNISFA’s compound in Abyei Town showing the main gate.

Residents in Aganytok village in Abyei Administrative Area, have repeated their call for the re-establishment of UN peacekeepers’ temporary base in their area.

The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei used to stay in this village from the start till the end of dry season.

Deployed in Abyei in 2011, UNISFA is mandated by the United Security Council to protect civilians and their property in the disputed region of Abyei. It is the only body that is authorized to carry guns in the area. The mission is backed up by unarmed Community Protection Committees – CPC. Their role is to assist in keeping law and order.

But this year, the mission has not returned there. This has created fear among the locals in this village.

Kelek Kon who works as advisor for security in Abyei Administration, says UNISFA will not set up a base there again. However, he assures that the peacekeeping soldiers will be patrolling the village during the day and, at night in case of emergency.

The Chief of Aganytok, Ngor Dor says the presence of UN peacekeepers’ camp in their place will reduce fear of armed attack.

“This is not enough. We need UNISFA to return to its site, the site it was located in before, it will be fine. This time is dangerous for us. We want them to do day and night patrol,”  Chief Ngor says.

In January this year, UNISFA set up a base in Kolom village where more than 30 civilians including women and children were killed early last year, by armed men said to be from Misseriya. The locals had blamed UNISFA for not foiling this attack.