Arab Misseriya attacks Sudan's Abyei

January 10, 2008 (NSV)

The situation in Abyei town is being reported to be very tense as Baggara are assaulting citizens from Abyei and Gogrial counties as they return home from IDP camps in northern Sudan. The Baggara Misseriya are just 45km away from Abyei. "We do not know what to do really with our citizens being attacked," lamented one citizen to NSV. There are serious reports of looting of money, bicycles, cloths and all sorts of valuable things by the armed Misseriya tribesmen. Those who resist are either killed or detained.

The current situation started last week when Col. Gal, Biemnhom county commissioner's cars were attacked in Bolom Junction. "It was an assassination attempt but they couldn't succeed," confirmed Hassen Deng one of the first rescue team members to reach the scene of the accident. Biemnhom commissioner was returning from the funeral of SPLM's late Commissioner James Ajing Path. Those who attended the funeral function reported that the commissioner delivered strong speech which was not accepted by enemies of CPA. The attempt on the commissioner's life resulted into five deaths which included some of the attackers, believed to be from the nearby garrison belonging to Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Misseriya militias.

The members of Messeriya Arab tribe of south-western Kordofan for the last one week remained on the offensive. "Yesterday afternoon at Bolom Junction a woman was shot in the leg while the driver of the bus she was traveling in dodged bullets," said another concerned citizen from Abitok, Abyei. The Misseriya are blocking IDPs from returning to southern Sudan by laying ambushes along the only road that links southern Sudan and the north. "After yesterday's incident, the JIU under col. Valentino Tongmac went to calm down the situation but the Baggara threatened them," Kuol Deng, a citizen from Abyei told NSV. It was also reported that Col. Valentino (SPLA) was accompanied by SAF's 31st Battalion commander of Abyei military area.

Since the beginning of the dry season, Baggara Misseriya of Kordofan has attacked citizens in Grinti, River Kiir, Abyei and parts of the Nuba Mountains. The Misseriya are reported to be threatening to close all roads leading to southern Sudan if their problems are not solved. Lack of implementation of Abyei Protocol has become a big problem for both the north and the south.

Bollom Junction has become a deadly spot for citizens of Abyei area. In 2005 several high ranking SPLA officers were murdered there by some militias believed to have been supported by SAF. Their leader is now hiding in Khartoum under Sudan security protection.


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