Abyei — Heavy rains and floods in the southern part of Abyei, an area disputed by Sudan and South Sudan, damaged villages and forced people to flee their homes. Four people drowned.
Humanitarian Aid Commissioner of Abyei Kwaj Yai told Radio Dabanga on Sunday that four people drowned in the floods. A large number of homes collapsed, especially south of the River Kiir. This led to the displacement of thousands of people.
The rains and ensuing floods have also damaged large areas of farmland. Yai predicted food shortages in the region for two consecutive years.
Villages are now isolated by the floods and difficult to reach, Yai said. He fears the spread of epidemic diseases in the region. He also pointed at the urgent need for relief items such as tents, plastic sheets, and medicines against malaria.
In Khartoum, the High Council for Abyei Dinka Affairs called on the Sovereign Council and the Cabinet to request the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and to send emergency assistance to Abyei.
The Council described the health situation in the area as catastrophic, because of the outbreak of various diseases, including cholera.
Speaking at a workshop on conflict resolution held in Khartoum on Saturday, chairman Chul Myeon Paul of the High Council for Abyei Dinka Affairs said that the council wants Abyei to be part of Sudan.