UNISFA Statement on increased inter-communal violence in the southern part of Abyei.

1 Feb 2023

UNISFA Statement on increased inter-communal violence in the southern part of Abyei.

Abyei, 01 February 2023 - The United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei strongly condemns the renewed intercommunal violence which is threatening the security situation in and around the southern part of the Abyei box.

According to the latest reports by local authorities, on 27 January, a cattle rustling incident resulted in the death of 18 people and 9 others injured (all males). The reports indicated that youths from Abyei Box allegedly attacked the villages of Makuac/Madou, Tongliet, and Makueibum in Twic County. Five Nuer and two Dinka Ngok youths were reportedly among those killed and hundreds of cattle allegedly rustled were yet to be recovered.

The attack, which was among the deadliest in the conflicts between the Ngok Dinka and Twic Dinka communities, was the latest in the escalating insecurity in the southern part of Abyei Box. It followed the 5 January attack on the Rumamier village in Abyei Box by Twic Dinka, which left 14 people dead, and 4 others injured.  The mission is concerned that such attacks were likely to lead to a spike in the conflict between the two communities. The fighting has negatively impacted the livelihoods of the local community and displaced thousands.

UNISFA strongly condemns this attack, regrets the loss of lives and calls for the immediate disarmament of armed youths in the general area, and enjoins the two communities to restrain from engaging in further arms conflict and join hands with UNISFA, UNMISS, and the Government of South Sudan in finding a lasting solution to the crisis.

The mission equally calls on local authorities in southern Abyei, traditional leaders, women groups, the youths, and the Government of South Sudan which have been working very hard to address the increasing tensions and reported mobilization of youths on both sides, in order to de-escalate the situation. The mission further admonished the parties to work with the government authorities to quickly find lasting solutions to the crisis and promote peaceful co-existence.

UNISFA reiterates its commitment to the implementation of its mandate and readiness to work with the local authorities to find an inclusive solution to the conflict in Abyei. UNISFA is also working closely with humanitarian partners to facilitate humanitarian access to the affected population and protect the rights of the most vulnerable, in particular, women and children.