29 Oct 2020


Concerns Over Withdrawal of Security Forces from Abyei

Authorities in the Abyei contested area have expressed concerns with the imminent unpredictable situation following the withdrawal of security forces from the area.

 Concerns Over Withdrawal of Security Forces from Abyei
The co-chair of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee Dr Luka Biong. [Gurtong/ Waakhe Simon Wudu]

By Waakhe Simon Wudu

JUBA, 16 May 2012 [Gurtong] - The co-chair of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee Dr Luka Biong told the press in Juba Tuesday that the situation is worrying with the continued presence of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in the area.

“We are concerned that at least four hundred SAF soldiers are still in Abyei, hence creating insecurity threats in the area”, said Dr Biong.

He said the United Nations and the African Union are gradually enforcing the Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area agreed between Sudan and South Sudan on 20 June 201.

According to the agreement all the forces of the two governments deployed in Abyei during the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) period were supposed to withdraw by 30 September last year.

Last Thursday South Sudan completed the withdrawal of her 700 policemen deployed in the area.

Dr Biong has called on the South Sudanese government to pressure the international community and the UN and the AU to effect the implementation of the agreement.

“There is no police currently in Abyei as the United Nations Interim Security Forces for Abyei (UNISFA) has said it is not mandated to provide police service in the area”, he said, adding that “the situation is bad.”

He said that prior to the withdrawal of the South Sudan police last Thursday, a group of Misseriya tribesmen whom he claimed are backed by the Khartoum government stole at least six hundred heads of cattle belonging to Dinka Ngok ethnic community.

The Abyei Joint Oversight Committee has at the same time proposed a number of measures in case the UN and the AU do not resolve the Abyei crisis fast enough.

“It is very important for the government of South Sudan to have some time to gauge the commitment of the international community. If the international community fails to deliver the South Sudanese government should reposition her forces in Abyei”, said Dr Biong.

He said the international community should put pressure on the implementation of the AU road map to restore peace between the two countries which includes Abyei.

The oil-rich Abyei area that has an estimated population of 150,000 residents has been the cause of a major conflict between Sudan and neighbouring South Sudan.

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16/05/2012, 3:32 PM
 - Posted by Majuong Machar
Dr. Biong is absolutely right. Juba will reconsider its committment to proctect its people and teritorial integrity in case AU and UN failed to hamer Khartoum to commits itself in implementing AU/ UN road map.

By James M. Machar.
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