Tensions rise in Abyei as migration season nears

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UNMIS patrols Abyei area

The chief of UN Peacekeeping Operations says he is concerned about the plight of the Ngok Dinka residents of Abyei, who have been unable to return to their homes because of fighting between Sudan and South Sudan.

Abyei is an oil rich, disputed border area between the two countries.

In a briefing to the UN Security Council, Herve Ladsous told delegates that 110,000 residents were still displaced and that their humanitarian situation remained difficult.

Mr. Ladsous says the UN is reinforcing security for the upcoming seasonal migration of the nomadic Misseriya tribe, who share Abyei with the Ngok Dinka.

"To prevent the entry of armed militias into Abyei town, UNISFA has established around the clock checkpoints. In addition to maintaining a robust posture, UNISFA continues its direct engagement of both communities, including through the establishment of a liaison office in Muglad, to address tensions over resources and arms".

Duration: 25''

Violence and looting broke out in Abyei town after Sudan's occupation of the area in May, displacing an estimated 45,000 people.

The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) has established a security umbrella in the area, deploying 2,853 troops on the ground.

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December 2017
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