July 22, 2018

Abyei, Sudan and the threat of civil war

The residents of Abyei, the largest town of the contested border region between north and south Sudan, have deserted their homes in search of safety after the northern government took the town by force this weekend. The seizure of the town follows an ambush by a southern group on a convoy of northern forces who were withdrawing from the town under U.N. escort. According to U.N. deputy spokesperson Hua Jiang, 15 Sudanese army tanks rolled into the town on Saturday evening. Heavy shelling ensued, and a mortar was fired on the U.N. compound in the area, wounding two peacekeepers. Médecins Sans Frontiers reported treating 42 wounded in the weekend attack, adding to the human cost of violence in the area, which has claimed over 100 lives already this year.

The ongoing violence is a reflection of a political failure to resolve whether Abyei will belong to the north or the south when, following a referendum vote earlier this year, they officially split into two countries on July 9. 

Read the rest of the article as it appeared: http://www.tnr.com/article/world/88873/sudan-abyei-civil-war-north-south-bashir.

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