Humanitarian Crisis In Abyei Is Looming, Activists Say

The Abyei Referendum Forum, a Civil Society advocating for the achievement of the rights of the people of Abyei have alerted the GOSS and the International community that, there is a looming humanitarian situation in Abyei which needs immediate intervention.

The forum’s leadership confirmed that prices of basic goods and services have skyrocketed due to militia activities and conflict fuelled by the Messiriya against Ngok Dinka community.

Dr. Chol Deng Alak, Chairperson of the Abyei Referendum Forum addressed the press yesterday at the South Sudan hotel in Juba saying that, the humanitarian situation had worsened in recent months due to constant attacks against several villages in the oil rich region.

Rebel activities in recent months have been tense according to the activists. Dr. Chol categorically explained that, Messiriya herders supported by the Northern government have been brutally attacking several villagers hence catalysing the crisis.

He identified the affected areas as; Todac village attacked on the 27th and 28th of February, Maker village on the March 2nd, and Tajalei village on March 5th. He adding that, the attacks involved burning of homes and destruction of water yards.

Dr. Chol further pointed out that, renegade Peter Gadet, who is now heading a militia group; and other militias he disclosed as Abdel Abagi Ayi and Thiel’s forces are involved in these serious rebel activities.

The rebel activities are concentrated in the key areas of Umabama, Lafa-Thimsaas. Gadet’s rebels are involved in planting mines between Bienhom and Abyei, the Activist clarified.

The Abyei referendum Forum explained that, if no intervention is taken against the rebel activities, the economic impact and humanitarian situation will have far reaching effects on South Sudan.

Deng Madding, the Vice Chairperson of the Abyei Referendum explained that, Nyama road has been barricaded by the NCP. Nyama road is a focal linking point in Abyei in which most operating oil and other business companies in South Sudan use to import goods from North to South.

The road plays a great role in ensuring the penetration of goods and services especially to the Northern States of South Sudan. Mading explained that, Nyama road allows the transportation of goods to Western and Northern Bar El Ghzal, Warrap, Lakes and Unity States.

The Abyei Referendum Forum called on the International Community to put pressure in conducting the Abyei referendum.

The Forum condemned statements by a section of the media amid last week by the Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir. The reports quoted the President while addressing a gathering in Southern Kordofan saying that, he will not recognize the Independency of South Sudan on 9th July 2011 if South includes Abyei in its on-going constitution amendment.

The Forum expressed its commitment to peace and stability in Abyei. “We affirm our commitment to peace in Abyei through the implementation of the Abyei Protocol and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, CPA,” said Dr. Chol.

The Forum has called for the implementation of the Abyei protocol which gives the people of Abyei a chance to decide whether they want to remain as part of Sudan or South Sudan.

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