The Chief Administrator of the Abyei Area, Kuol Alor Kuol, has reported that 32 people were killed and 24 injured during an attack on a village in the disputed oil-rich region.
Kolom village, situated around 10km northwest of Abyei Town, was attacked in the early hours of 22 January. The that a group of armed individuals belonging to the Misseriya tribe attacked the Dinka village, and that five people have since been detained in connection to the attack. Kuol Alor Kuol that women and children were among the 32 killed, and that 19 homes were razed to the ground during the attack. In addition, 15 people, including children, remain missing.
CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: “We express our deepest condolences to the families and communities of those who were killed in this attack. We are concerned that such a serious incident and so much loss of life have occurred ahead of the Misseriya migratory season. We urge the governments of Sudan and South Sudan, and community leaders in Abyei, to redouble efforts to de-escalate tensions between the various communities in the area, and to implement the Abyei protocol of the fully.”
The oil-rich region lies on the border of Sudan and South Sudan. Despite arrangements for its future contained in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005 between the al Bashir government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), administrative arrangements for the region are yet to be settled.
The CPA stipulated that the people of Abyei should participate in a referendum to decide whether to join South Sudan or remain part of Sudan. Nine years after the referendum was due to take place, UNISAF remains the main military presence in the restive region.