Sudan's Khartoum army sends more troops to Abyei, accuses SPLM of “forceful occupation”

April 2, 2008 (NSV)

Following Edward Lino's arrival in Abyei as SPLM administrator for the area last week, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), battalion 31, entered Abyei yesterday.

The armed men arrived from SAF reserve force in Darfur and entered Abyei to the surprise of the locals.

At around noon on Tuesday, the convoy of SAF in a six pick-up trucks entered the town of Abyei without resistance from the SPLA or JIU in the town.

Last week, Major General Edward Lino was triumphantly received in Abyei town as SPLM's administrator in the area, filling up the power vacuum in the area since 2005. However, two days after he entered Abyei, the National Congress Party (NCP) through their stalwart, Zachariah Atem Payin issued condemnation letter, accusing Edward Lino of "forcefully occupying Abyei with SPLA force."

There were talks that SAF was to deploy troops to Abyei from Darfur.

SAF has deployed thousands of troops in eastern Darfur towns of Alait, Adilla, Haskenita, Wad Ginja etc.

Sources in Abyei told The New Sudan Vision that when SAF troops were entering Abyei town, SPLA in the town were ordered not to stop the heavily armed SAF.

The move is seen as tactical because NCP dominated press in Khartoum has been writing inciting columns about the SPLM led government of Edward Lino. It is not clear what is the motive of SAF to beef up its military might in Abyei.


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