Home | News    Saturday 18 June 2011

Sudan army shelling strikes near UNMIS base in Abyei

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June 17, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The United Nations on Friday said that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) shelling in the North-South border region of Abyei hit near a base that belongs to the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).

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A patrol from the international peacekeeping operation passes a destroyed UN truck that was part of a convoy transporting northern soldiers out of the Abyei area in the Todach area, north of Abyei town, in this handout picture released by the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) May 30, 2011

"[I]n Abyei, this afternoon, local time, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) confirms that six shells fired by the Sudanese Armed Forces landed 150 meters from a UN Mission base near Agok. There are no reports of casualties at this point. And we are in the process of verifying the details on that," UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters in New York.

Agok is at 20 miles southwest from the oil-producing region of Abyei. The latter was seized by SAF on May 21.

"There are no reports of casualties at this point.And we are in the process of verifying the details on that. The Sudanese Armed Forces are saying that this shelling was part of an exercise; the Sudan People’s Liberation Army is saying that the shelling was targeting their positions and intimidating the local population around Agok. So it remains to be determined precisely what happened. But it is a fact that the shells landed very near the base," Nesirky added.

A humanitarian official confirmed the report to Reuters.

"This morning, from about 10 am, there was shelling on both sides of the river. Later there was shelling just a little bit north of Agok ... All humanitarians are being pulled out of Agok," the official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

After the seizure of Abyei on 21 May, SAF destroyed the only bridge linking by road between Abyei and Agok on the southern bank of Bahr Al-Arab or Kiir river. The gesture was seen in Juba as a sign that northern troops have intention to move southward.

The incident is the latest in the series of skirmishes that followed the SAF takeover. On Wednesday the SPLA said that clashes occurred near the Kiir river. But SAF denied the allegation saying that Southern troops were fighting rebel militias.

Today, the Southern army accused SAF of attempting an incursion.

"This morning we received a report that the SAF were trying to move southwards into Warrap state," in South Sudan, SPLA spokesman Philip Aguer told Agence France Presse (AFP).

"There was fighting between Abyei and Agok .....But our forces repelled them and drove them back towards Abyei," he said, adding that the northern army had deployed all along the North-South border.

The status of Abyei was supposed to be determined through a referendum that was to be held in January but disagreement on who is eligible to vote stalled the process.

Observers say that Abyei could be the ’Kashmir’ of Sudan. The South will officially become a new state on July 9.

North-South talks are ongoing in Addis Ababa seeking a withdrawal of SAF from Abyei and deploying Ethiopian peacekeepers there.

Fighting has also erupted in South Kordofan between SAF and SPLA where the Northern army has used aerial bombardment as well as local militia to quell what it described as a rebellion.

(ST)

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  • 18 June 2011 10:24, by Cibaipiath Junub Sudan

    Take care UNMIS. SAF and NCP do not want your present in Abyei because they see you as traitors to report them US and UK. They are planning by all means to hit your compound and when this occurred later they will denied it pointed hand on tye SPLA. Give SAF warning not to do their military exercise by firing heavy artillary over your compound. This will be a great mistake. You need to tell SAF to respect your position and compound. Your compound should be free from any cross bullets.

    repondre message

  • 18 June 2011 10:51, by Ghai-nyanthy

    Khartoum and SAF
    Its had become a lyric to South Sudanese for ill attitude towards Sudanese marginalize and South Sudanese since Naivasha agreement. SAF had been modernize during CPA period
    which was not stipulated in CPA because they know their future plan as they are doing today.Khartoum should think; it takes
    energy to slap someone at the face but it require extra energy to defend yourself when responded. It will not be long enough for SPLA to loose her temper on your intimidation.

    repondre message

  • 19 June 2011 09:22, by Mapuor

    Dear readers,the end of Arab hegemony in Sudan has just began.South Sudan,Nuba mountains & South Blue Nile were not part of the North Sudan,they were amalgamated by the British with the North in 1947.Dar Fur was an independent African Islamic statetill it was amalgamated with the North in 1916 by the British colonial administration.Now the viability of the North as a united country is questionable,as you all know,racial war is raging with Arabs fighting non Arabs all over the North including far North.There is a terrible war in Dar fur,Nuba Mountain,South Blue Nile & Eastern Sudan,& there are also rumours of war in Sennar,White Nile & Northern state between Blacks(Zuruk) & Arabs..Haa

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