Sudan: Nine Civilians Dead in 'Sudanese Army' Attack in Disputed Abyei Region

Abyei — On Wednesday, nine people. including four women and children, were killed and 10 others wounded in an attack by gunmen - allegedly affiliated with the Sudanese Armed Forces - on Kulm village 10 kilometres north of the town of Abyei in the disputed oil-rich region on Sudan's border with South Sudan.

Akon Akol, governor of Abyei old Radio Dabanga that a group of armed men, he says are "affiliated to the Sudanese Armed Forces" attacked the village using automatic weapons at 6 am yesterday.

The attack resulted in the death of nine people, wounding 10 others. A still unknown number of people went missing and 20 houses were burned to the ground.

The governor indicated that the wounded were transferred to Abyei Hospital. The dead bodies were buried in a mass grave in the area.

Border dispute

Since the secession of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011, both countries claim the border area of Abyei. The region is inhabited primarily by members of the South Sudanese Dinka Ngok clan. It is also the seasonal home of the Sudanese Arab Misseriya herder tribe.

The Abyei status referendum, in which the residents of the region would decide either to remain part of Sudan or become part of South Sudan, was planned to be held simultaneously to the South Sudanese independence referendum in January 2011, but was postponed indefinitely because of disagreements over the process.

In October 2013, an informal referendum was held, in which only the Dinka participated. The Misseriya boycotted the vote. It turned out that 99.9 per cent of the voters considered Abyei a part of South Sudan.

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