Contested Abyei area appeals to UN for better security to deter attacks

Thursday July 18 2019

Peacekeeper troops deployed in the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) patrol outside Abyei town, in Abyei state, on December 14, 2016.

Peacekeeper troops from Ethiopia and deployed in the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) patrol outside Abyei town, in Abyei state, on December 14, 2016. Abyei authorities have asked the UN to scale up security measures to protect residents from attacks. PHOTO | AFP 

JOHN ADUKATA
By JOHN ADUKATA
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The contested Abyei administrative area at the Sudan-South Sudan border has appealed to the United Nation Interim Security Forces for Abyei (UNISFA) to scale up security measures to protect residents from attacks.

On Tuesday, armed men killed at least seven people in Abyei market, including a UN peacekeeper and a six-month-old baby.

Abyei Area Chief Administrator Kuol Alor Jok Friday told The EastAfrican that more than 15 people have been killed between January 1 and July 16 this year.

He described the Tuesday incident as “horrific”, adding that authorities are still trying to identify the attackers.

“This time, the number of the victims is higher,” Mr Jok said.

He urged the UNISFA to help stop the crimes. The UNISFA ensures safety and security of people in the area as stipulated in the Abyei Protocol.

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Mr Jok also called for cooperation between the residents and the UN keepers in dealing with insecurity.

“We try to work hand in hand with the UN troops to ensure safety and security of the people in the area,” he added.

The UN forces were sent to Abyei in 2011 by the UN Security Council following heightening tensions between northern and southern Sudan over the control of the area.

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