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Juba wants UN, AU to probe Abyei deadly attack

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Monday, January 27, 2020

Peacekeepers assess damages caused by an armed attack on a village in Abyei, Jan 22, 2020. Attacks on civilians have persisted despite the presence of the UN Interim Security Forces for Abyei Area | Credit | Resident

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has called for an independent investigation into last week’s attack in Abyei where over 30 people were killed.

An attack on Wednesday by Misseriya armed men on Kolom village, north of Abyei town initially left 29 people including children dead. The number later increased to 32.

The incident was condemned by both governments of South Sudan and the Sudan.

Survivors of the attack and the Abyei community in Juba accused the UN force in the area of failing to protect them.

“The government condemns this barbaric act in the strongest terms possible, and urges the united nations interim security force for Abyei, UNISFA, to live up to its mandate and responsibilities of protecting civilians  under its jurisdictions,” said Hakim Edward, spokesperson.

But the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei, or UNISFA instead blamed the Misseriya armed men for heightening tension in the contested area, saying it was the second incident following another one in 2010 in which two people were killed.

South Sudan’s foreign ministry is now demanding for an independent investigation to be carried out by the African Union and the United Nations.

“The government calls upon the Republic of the Sudan to assist in bringing the culprits to book,” Edward stated.

“The government calls upon both the African union and the United Nations to carry out an immediate joint and transparent investigation in order to prevent the recurrence of such incidents which have caused continuous loss of loves in the Abyei area.”

UNISFA was deployed in June 2011 to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, and protect the Area from incursions by unauthorized elements and ensure security.

Abyei has remained a contested region between the two countries since 2005.

Last week, President Salva Kiir  ordered for formation of a fact-finding committee to visit Abyei Administrative Area following 22 January attack.

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