JUBA – South Sudan President Salva Kiir and the de facto head of state of Sudan Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan have been urged to intervene in preventing a possible genocide in Abyei.
Akol Miyen Kuol, an academic and author of the book titled “Sudan: Understanding the oil-rich region of Abyei”, said the intervention from the two countries could avert the ongoing clashes that left dozens dead in the contested area.
“If the leadership in this country and the leadership in Sudan are not paying attention, it could turn into genocide to depopulate the Abyei region of the Ngok Dinka, the owners of the land. So, the leadership in the two countries needs to address this issue urgently and settle the final status of Abyei once and for all,’’ Miyen told Miraya Breakfast Show.
The author said while there is slow progress in peace implementation in the region, lasting peace and stability can be realized when the two countries devise a solution to the conflict.
“There is temporary progress in bringing peace in the region, but the real progress will come when the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan, embark on the final status of the Abyei region,” he said.
“This issue of the final status of the Abyei region needs to be solved once and for all, and it doesn’t need more waiting, it is an urgent issue which should be settled right now, not tomorrow,” he added.
Miyen questioned how the militia bypass Warrap State to attack the Southern part of Abyei.
“The main concern is the way these militia groups come from Warrap State and attack the south of the Abyei region.” And then the Misseriya Arabs come from the north,” he said.
The statement comes amid persistent attacks against the Ngok Dinka of Abyei by Misseriya Arab militia.
As of Friday, at least 41 people were killed with more than 1000 herds of cattle looted by the armed militia according to the Spokesperson of the Abyei Area Administration, Ajak Deng Miyan.
The call for intervention from the two countries also came on the back of a joint statement issued by two politicians and academics Bona Malwal Madut and Francis Mading Deng calling for an end to the conflict.
“We call on the government of South Sudan to actively and promptly engage the government of Sudan to expedite the resolution of the final status of Abyei in accordance with the aspirations of the Ngok Dinka of Abyei,” the statement read.
“We believe these recent events should not undermine hundreds of years of peaceful coexistence, intermarriages, and shared cultural values between Ngok and Twic Dinka,” it added.
The pair also called on the United Nations mission in Abyei to live to its mandate of protecting the people of Abyei.
“This heinous attack on innocent civilians has led to the displacement of many civilians. “The Abyei Area Administration condemns this barbaric attack in the strongest terms possible and calls upon UNISFA to live up to its mandate and render effective protection to the civilians,” he said in a statement.