4 November 2011

Sudan: Dinka Nok Leaders Return to Abyei

Abyei — Sheikhs and sultans (local leaders) of the Dinka Nok tribe from Abyei returned to the city for the first time on Thursday after the war that broke out in the region in May.

The sheikhs returned with the help of Ethiopian peacekeeping forces and demanded a withdrawal of the Sudanese armed forces from the region in order to allow the return of the tribes people.

Abyei, an oil-rich region in the state of South Kordofan, came under severe attack from the Sudanese armed forces in May this year forcing out the Dinka Nok tribes from their homes.

Kod Manjed, president-designate of Abyei administration and the minister of Infrastructure, said in an interview with Radio Dabanga that the Dinka Nok had also called for the deployment of the Ethiopian mission for the security and protection of the citizens, especially in the northern regions.

They also demanded that roads leading up to Abyei, such as the ones going to Nama and Al Muglad, be protected so that citizens are able to return to their villages.

"There also needs to be a stop to the influx of Misseriya nomads into Abyei. We need to pin down other arrangements which will allow them to return during grazing periods," he added.

150,000 fled Abyei

Kod Manjed added that over 150,000 people had fled the city in the aftermath of the events in May.

"The humanitarian situation in Abyei is very bad - without adequate food supplies. The World Food Program (WFP) provided humanitarian aid to about 90,000 people until the month of August and then stopped," he said.

Manjed pleaded with the international community and the WFP to provide immediate relief to the suffering people.

"They are living in disastrous conditions. There is also an imminent threat of famine taking in the region," he said.

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