Gunmen injure one in Abyei Administrative Area

Unknown gunmen injured a 22-year-old man in Mijak county in Abyei Administrative Area on Wednesday, official said.

The incident occurred in Gop Achuil Wien village about 25 kilometers east of Abyei town. The victim suffers gun wound on the hand.

The Caretaker Commissioner of Mijak County, Chol Adhuol urged the residents to seek security from the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA)before they enter into the forests.

“What I want to tell people living in Leu Tajalei and areas where UNISFA is deployed. We want people who go to collect firewood in the forest to inform UNISFA. UNISFA will first go there, and you follow. If you have firer woods there, collect them and come back. Also, I want people to move in group,” Chol said.

 Under June 2011 agreement, nobody except UN peace-keeping soldiers should carry guns in the contested oil-rich region of Abyei between South Sudan and Sudan. UNISFA is mandated to provide security to civilians and their property in the area.

Despite this status, the area is still being infiltrated by armed men with intention to kill, loot or abduct.

Between 2012 and earlier 2021, 443 civilians were killed, 28 abducted and 107 injured in Abyei, data filed by Community Protection Committee (CPC) show. This figures do not include the March 13 attack on a commercial vehicle along Abyei town-Amiet road, which led to death of a driver and injuries of four passengers including three women.

According to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended a more-than-two-decade civil war between armed opposition, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and Khartoum’s government, the people of Abyei were to hold a referendum to decide their fate.

The voting was to take place simultaneously with the referendum that led to the secession of South Sudan from Sudan. However, the polls were prevented by dispute over voters’ eligibility.

In 2013, the Ngok Dinka people conducted a unilateral referendum in which they voted close to 100 percent in favor of joining South Sudan, but the outcome was not recognized.

Since then, the Ngok Dinka people have been pushing for the recognition of the results but, neither Juba nor Khartoum has shown a seriousness in resolving the issue of Abyei. It is not clear whether they will have to go for another referendum.