Abyei, Sudan… things just get worse

Following the AJOC meeting, several Ngok Dinka officials told UNISFA that they wanted to visit the Missiriya-occupied north of Abyei, including the area around Defra. A UNISFA convoy, including the head of mission, accompanied them. The convoy visited Tajalei, and then proceeded to Defra, where it spent half an hour. It then began to return to Abyei Town. At around 2pm, it encountered a roadblock near Baloom. What was initially a small group of Missiriya was joined by around two hundred people, armed with small arms and mortars. The group, angered that UNISFA had brought Ngok Dinka to Defra, asked the peacekeeping force to surrender the Ngok Dinka to their custody. Negotiations began that then continued for five hours, with UNISFA attempting to diffuse the situation, and reinforcing the convoy with troops from its fifth battalion. Just before 7pm, there was an agreement that the convoy could return to Defra for further negotiations. However, when the convoy began to move, a Missiriya assailant shot and killed the UNISFA soldier guarding Kuol Deng Kuol’s vehicle, before shooting and killing the paramount chief. UNISFA immediately returned fire, and the convoy succeeded in returning to Abyei Town that night. Two UNISFA soldiers died in the clash, as well as a further Ngok Dinka official.

via HSBA – The Crisis in Abyei.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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