New York / TEH: The United Nations announced the involvement of armed elements in several incidents this week in the disputed Abyei region between Sudan and South Sudan.
This came according to what Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations, said during a press conference held, Thursday, at the headquarters of the international organization in New York.
The spokesman said: “The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNICEF) received reports of multiple incidents that occurred this week in which armed elements were involved in attacking the villages of the Dinka tribe.”
In one incident, he reported, a large group of gunmen reportedly killed several members of the Ngok Dinka tribe, forcing more than 100 villagers to seek refuge in the UNMIL base in Nong, in the middle of the Abyei Administrative Region.
He continued, “The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei is working to verify the allegations, and the mission has arrested 12 suspects and confiscated their weapons.”
And he added: “In another incident, several people were injured and about 250 villagers sought refuge inside a United Nations base in Todash, also in the Abyei area.”
He continued, “It is also worrying that an Interim Security Force patrol was attacked, and fortunately no peacekeepers were injured.”
Dujarric stressed the need for “the rapid movement of the forces of the United Nations mission to protect civilians and prevent any further escalation or possible reprisals.”
“The UNISFA leadership is also working with the leaders of the affected communities to resolve the situation and avoid further tensions,” he added. The Eastern Herald online newspaper.
It is noteworthy that “Abyei”, which is rich in oil, obtained a special status in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed between Khartoum and Juba on September 25, 2003.
The area is considered a bridge between the north and south of Sudan, where the Arab “Messiria” tribes live in the north, and in the south, the African “Dinka” tribes inhabit.