Home | News    Thursday 16 June 2011

Fresh clashes in Abyei kill 5 on Wednesday

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By Ngor Arol Garang

June 15, 2011 (JUBA) - Officials from the government of South Sudan and members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) on Wednesday said at least five North Sudan soldiers have been killed in clashes in the contested border region of Abyei.

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UN peacekeepers patrol in the restive Abyei after the seizure of the area by the northern Sudanese troops on 21 May 2010 (photo UN)

South Sudan said seven of their soldiers had sustained minor injuries as the fighting took place less than a month before Sudan’s South separates from the North on July 9.

The leadership of North and South Sudan have been unable to reach an agreement to enable a referendum to determine if Abyei’s future or come to a political agreement. In May the North’s Sudan Armed Forces occupied the region in response to attacks on two of their convoys by southern armed groups.

Miyen Alor Kuol, an SPLM official told Sudan Tribune from in Wau in Western Bahr el Ghazal State that renewed fighting has taken place in the area. He said that five Sudan Armed Forces soldiers were killed after falling into ambush.

"A successful fighting took place today. It is successful fighting because none of our soldiers was killed. We only had people who sustained slight injuries. They all fell into an ambush of our soldiers resulting into the shooting and killing of five members of their soldiers", said Kuol.

He said seven soldiers from the South’s army - the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) - sustained injuries. "On the side of our soldiers none of them was killed as I have said earlier. Only seven of them sustained minor injuries", explained Kuol.

Colonel Dominic Deng Kuoc Malek, Commissioner of Twic County, Warrap State, told Sudan Tribune that fighting had broken out in three different places in the south of Abyei.

"Yes there was a fighting in which seven of our soldiers sustained slight injuries. They have been brought to Mayen Abun this afternoon", the Twic County Commissioner said.

The senior official explained that the armed forces started exchanging fire at around 9:00am. The clash finished by 2:30pm he said.

NO DEAL ON TROOP WITHDRAWAL

South Sudan Tuesday rejected any conditions being put on the withdrawal of the northern troops form the contested region of Abyei on the North-South border.

Tensions are rising between as the oil-producing South prepares to separate from the North on July 9. Sudan’s President and his Southern counterpart met under the auspices of the African Union this week to try and resolve the dispute.

However, despite media reports to the contrary the talks failed to secure the withdrawal of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) from Abyei and the deployment of Ethiopian troops under the existing UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan.

Upon return from Addis Ababa, where the talks were held, on Tuesday a South Sudan official told Sudan Tribune that the Northern government had demanded that they be able to keep a battalion of SAF soldiers in the region.

The Khartoum controlled SAF took control of Abyei on May 21 using tanks, heavy military weapons and aerial bombardments prior to moving into the town.

Cirino Hiteng, a minister in the office of South Sudan president told a press briefing that talks between the leaders of the National Congress Party (NCP) in Khartoum and South Sudan’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) had failed.

“The talks began on Sunday and resumed on Monday without success. The National Congress Party, particularly [Sudan’s] President [Bashir] is connecting withdrawal of the Sudan Armed Forces from Abyei to an agreement. The National Congress Party wants a brigade of the Sudan Armed Force to remain behind in Abyei when other forces withdraw. They demands equal representation in the administration of the area. They also demanded that the chief administrator should come from them. This is unacceptable”, said the minister

The senior SPLM official said the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit with entire leadership of the SPLM rejected the NCPs demands and demanded an unconditional withdrawal of the northern forces in the area.

“We made our position clear. The Sudan Armed Forces must withdraw from Abyei without any condition. The Abyei administration must be reinstated and a neutral force be deployed to the area until the final and political settlement is reached. We do not see any reason for which the administration of Abyei should be shared let alone demand for chief administrator from the National Congress Party”, the minister said on Tuesday.

The military take over of Abyei generated an international outcry and subsequent demands put pressure on the government of Sudan to consider immediate withdrawal of the Sudan Armed Forces from the area. There are fears that the are could be a flashpoint to a trigger another full scale war.

South, which is less than a month from achieving independence from the North, has said it will not go to war over Abyei. The region voted to separate in a referendum agreed as part of a 2005 peace deal between the former warring parties.

The agreement also granted the people of Abyei the similar right to simultaneously hold a referendum to decide whether to remain part of South Kordofan province in central Sudan, or return to the South in Bahr el Ghazal region from where they were transferred in 1905. However, the referendum in Abyei was not held following disagreements between the two parties over formation of the referendum commission and definition of the voter eligibility.

While the south voted overwhelmingly in favor of secession from the North, in January 2011, the Misseriya tribe launched an attack on the area following reports that the local inhabitants of Abyei predominantly the Dinka Ngok chiefdom, were planning to unilaterally attempt to join South Sudan. Officials in Abyei deny this.

The NCP want the Misseriya to be able to vote. The SPLM reject this saying that the Misseriya, who enter the region with their cattle for a few months each year, are not residents of the area.

(ST)

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  • 16 June 2011 07:45, by George Bol

    We are waiting the announcement and at this time,we are wearning the SAF to withdraw from immediately from Abyei.
    If they SAF refuse then we want them to sleep in Abyei peacefuly for that they took the Abyei by Force. Dear SPLM/A let them keep those weapons for us. Thanks

    repondre message

    • 17 June 2011 07:06, by Biden Osire

      We are now and will never forget the terrible pain left behind by Omer’s regime during the twenty years of civil war and he (Bashir) still need to continue again. we will show him real war again if not enough to him and with Abyei case just wait let 9th july come and by end of it fire will be in Khartoum not Abyei this time.

      repondre message

  • 16 June 2011 07:46, by Khartoum92

    Its funny how they always tend to give the number of how many SAF soldiers dead but they never really tell how many of theirs are dead. According "Times" and other websites SAF killed 27 SPLA soliders and took control of Bahr al-Arab who is telling the truth here, btw who runs this website?

    repondre message

    • 16 June 2011 09:02, by Liberal

      Dear Khartoum92,

      Why are you yearning to know the number of SPLA soldiers that have been killed? You are a traitor. I cannot imagine the extend of baseless ideas you have in your brain but i cannot blame you. You might have been brought up in negative tradition.

      repondre message

  • 16 June 2011 07:48, by Dinka Dominated SPLA

    We have a plan for Abyei and if bashir and his nuer missionaries inssist of staying in our land, than there will be no chance in hell.
    We are caming.thank to nephew who visited Us in united Kingdom. God is great

    repondre message

  • 16 June 2011 08:27, by Tribe

    Khartoum92,
    one thing SAF/NCP need to put into thier desert head is that the war after july 9 would not be about who control Abyei, it would be about who control S.kordufan. Therefor, enjoy your late aggression in the border which is the coming of your doomness. It would easily be contained soon our flag towered in every SPLA’s quarters whithin south sudan with no exception to S.kordufan and Blue Nile.

    repondre message

  • 16 June 2011 10:05, by Ngiechjam

    How could Khartoum92 says that Southerners gave details about the number been killed from the SAF side, in reality it is only 7 individual injured from SPLA and make sure when u fight with someone and u are defeated then the one who has defeated can gives and say the exact number of p,ple been killed it was SPLA soldiers who remain and went over causalities and have found 5 five (5) dead b,se they can just check whom we have their pictures who denied this fact?
    let all teel fact with out denials if not b,se UNMIS who repel back SPLA Closely to the Abyei toun then SPLA could have take Abyei over yesterday if douting contact UNMIS FOR MORE DETAILS AND IT IS EVEN MORE THAN 100 TO SAY BEEN killed from SAF but they themselves can mention it to the world not SPLA that is why we say 5 only from SAF WE DON,T WANT TO ROAR AS JUR do no we cann,t do so.
    But let waits comes 9 July should be defecation we know and I myself seen and took the pictures of attilliries been damaged from SAF after falling into an ambush in Deng Rokdit house, I cann,t listen to the lair commenter in this web.

    repondre message

  • 16 June 2011 11:48, by Dicksons Deng

    No son from south sudan shall die for the cause of Abyei.
    Their own sons had been made ministers and undersecretaries in GoSS yet they had not participated in war before apart from the clan of Dengdit Majok. They should first claim their freedom!
    Dicksons

    repondre message

  • 16 June 2011 16:28, by mohammed ali

    I wonder why did Sudan Tribune deleted my posting! Is it because I said celebrating the death of any person is disgustig?!

    repondre message

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