March 15, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - An unidentified armed group killed and abducted several Sudanese herders besides looting 13,000 cattle in the troubled South Sudan’s state of Upper Nile.
The Sudanese ruling National Congress Party (NCP) said that arms proliferation in the contested Abyei area represent a real danger to peace efforts, pointing that absence of a local administration turned the area into a centre for armed groups and militias.
The NCP’s secretary of political mobilisation for Abyei, Chol Mawen, condemned in a press release on Saturday the recent attacks on the area by armed militias which led to the death and injury of several Sudanese citizens.
He described the attacks as an attempt to destabilise the area and create a tense situation among its various social components, calling upon Abyei residents to cooperate and contribute to promoting the peace process.
Mawen also demanded all concerned bodies and the local community to make further efforts to consolidate pillars of peace besides forming the civil institutions in order to achieve peace and stability and preserve residents’ lives.
Last November, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) renewed the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), for additional six months until May 31, 2014 in accordance with chapter 7 of the UN charter.
Resolving the final status of Abyei still remains a major issue between Sudan and South Sudan after the latter broke away from the former in July 2011, leaving several unresolved post-secession issues.
The two parties failed to form a local administration agreed in June 2011 but also to run a referendum on the fate on the region as they disagree on who can take part in this crucial vote.
In October 2013, the Ngok Dinka held a unilateral referendum in Abyei but the Sudanese government rejected its results calling it an "outcast".