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32 Dead in Attacks in Disputed Region Between Sudan and South Sudan

A series of attacks in Abiye, a disputed region between Sudan and South Sudan, has left 32 people dead, including women, children and a peacekeeper, local officials said.

The attacks, carried out on Sunday in two counties by armed militias and soldiers wearing South Sudanese army uniforms, were condemned by a government representative from Abiye, an oil-rich territory on the border between the two countries.

“During these attacks, 32 people were killed, including children and women burnt to death in their huts, and more than 20 people were injured,” said Bulis Koch Aguar Ajith, Minister of Information for Abiye and South Sudanese spokesman for the region, in a statement issued on Sunday evening.

“A UNIFSA (United Nations Interim Security Force for Abye) soldier was killed and another wounded”, he added in the statement, without giving further details.

South Sudan has called for an urgent investigation into these “barbaric attacks on civilians”.

Located between Sudan and South Sudan, the Abiye region has been a flashpoint since the South gained independence in 2011.

Earlier this month, a UN regional envoy expressed fears that fighting between rival factions vying for power in Sudan was moving closer to the border with South Sudan and Abiye.

The proximity of the fighting to Abiye risks destabilising this already fragile region, while the ongoing crisis in Sudan has “effectively suspended” talks between the two countries on this long-disputed territory, warned Hanna 

Tetteh, the UN’s special envoy for the Horn of Africa.In Sudan, the conflict that broke out on 15 April between the head of the army, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, and his deputy-turned-rival, General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, has left more than 10,000 people dead, according to an estimate by the NGO Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (Acled), which is considered to be greatly underestimated.

The UN Security Council voted unanimously this month to extend the 12-year-old peacekeeping mission in Abiye, which currently has 4,000 troops

Source: Africanews

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Yves Bergeron

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