Suspects in Saturday’s killing in Abyei given to Sudanese military observers

Some suspects in the recent killing in Abyei Administrative Area have been handed over to Joint Military Observers’ Committee from Sudan in Todac, official says.

JMOC is made up of equal members of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) As agreed by Abyei Joint Oversight Committee, JMOC’s roles include monitoring the prevailing security situation in the area, free movement of civilians, identifying potential threats to social cohesion, communal and incursion of illegal armed groups or militia.

On Saturday, gunmen shot at a commercial vehicle between Abyei Town and Amiet market, killing one man and injuring four others.

8 men including 7 from Misseriya tribe of the Sudan were arrested in connection to this incident.

The Acting Commissioner of Ameth-Aguok county, Nyok Deng Rou says 6 suspects have been given to Joint Military Committee by the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei. Rou says only one suspect has remained in jail in Amiet market.

Rou has criticized this decision. He said:

“We have said that this policy is not right. This policy could turn Abyei into chaos where anyone can kill and go without accountability. UNISFA should cooperate with Abyei Administrative Area according to security council decision. Every person who has killed in Abyei must be held accountable.”

Abyei FM has contacted UNISFA for a comment on this incident and has not responded.

Abyei is a contested region between Sudan and South Sudan guarded by the UN peacekeeping soldiers as stipulated in June 2011 agreement.

However, the mission’s mandate does not allow it to hold a suspect for more than three days. Besides, the area has no court of law to try crimes involving nationals of South Sudan and Sudan.

Lack of a strong judicial system has been a challenge to justice delivery in the area. There have been calls for an establishment of a joint court by the two governments – Sudan and South Sudan.

The joint court made up of members from Misseriya and Ngok Dinka stationed in Amiet is not competent enough to try major crimes such as killings as it has no legal mandate from either Sudan or South Sudan.

Last year members of Community Joint Peace Committee made up of mainly Miseriya and Ngok Dinka appealed to Khartoum and Juba to back up their efforts by deploying judges in Amiet market.