The Episcopal Church of South Sudan reports 32 were killed today in a village in the disputed Abyei region on the border between Sudan and South Sudan. In a tweet released on 21 Jan 2020 the Episcopal Church of South Sudan wrote: “We request your prayers for the Diocese of #Abyei, and Bishop Michael, as they mourn the loss of 32 members who were killed in cold blood by militia earlier today.”
The United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) reported “19 people are reportedly dead and 25 wounded while three children are reportedly missing and 19 houses burnt from the Dinka community.” However, a government official told AFP 32 people had been killed in the fight between Dinka villagers and nomadic Misseriya herders from Sudan.
The oil rich Abyei region has been claimed by South Sudan and Sudan since the former gained its independence in 2011. In 2011 the UN deployed troops to the area to keep the peace between the South Sudanese Ngok Dinka community and the Misseriya herders.
Today’s statement from UNISFA said it had deployed Ethiopian peacekeepers to “control movements and contain the situation.”
“The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) strongly condemns this attack as it can only contribute to the tension and chances of renewed violence in the area.” In 2011 the UN Security Council sent 4500 troops to restore order to the region, after tribal clashes drove over 100,000 from their homes.