Fighting resumes between Twic and Abyei youth

By Ngor Deng Matem

The two communities of Abyei Administrative Area and Twic County of Warrap State have again started their intercommunal clashes yesterday, 9th May 2022 in a place called Athony.

Multiple sources from both sides have confirmed the clashes, saying the armed youths from Abyei area and Twic County have resumed their fighting.

The two-group accused each for carrying out the attack.

Gabriel Ayuel Deng, from Nyalou village of Twic County confirmed the clashes but accused Abyei youth for burning down many shelters.

“The houses were burnt down and the Abyei attackers and yes there were people killed from both sides but we still do not know the number because counter attack still take place,” Ayuel said.

Kur Arop Alor, from Abyei area blamed the fact-finding investigation committee for not involving UNISFA in monitoring the implementation of agreement signed.

“Since the Ceasefire was signed, the indiscriminate killing has not stopped and many reports have been presented to the committee by the authorities and no positive respond has been made,” he said.

Moreover, the Twic County Commissioner Eng. Deng Tong Goc has also accused some armed officers from Abyei independent mission.

“Those who headed the mission of fighting are officers from the Abyei mission and other special forces from Maj. General Makal Kuol. These forces have backed up the Abyei youth to attack our civilians in Athony, Nyalou, Dam Ayual, Akur and other nearby villages. This is true violations of the cessation of hostilities signed in Aweil,” the Commissioner said.

Commissioner Deng further expressed that Civilians in villages of Dam Ayual, Akur and Nyalou have been displaced and their houses have been burnt down, and the IDPs have moved to the South of Athony towards Mayen Abun.

He however called the government to intervene immediately to halt the incident. He emphasized for installation of neutral forces in the area to curb down activities being carried out by the youth. 

“The joint forces which were deployed in Athony, Aneet and at the bridge have totally failed their mandates of protecting the civilians and ensuring the cessation of hostilities,” Deng sadly stressed.

“A new force is to be installed in the areas where there are fighting. The administration of Abyei should be moved to the North of Kiir River and relocate the Abyei independent mission to Rumamer area. The new force which is neutral must take charge of the area,” he pleaded.  

The Commissioner stated that, they have recorded enormous violations since the Ceasefire was signed. He stated that they don’t know the number of casualties of Monday’s attack because the Abyei youth took control of the areas.

The official said, he has reported the incident to the fact-finding investigation committee.

Meanwhile, the Spokesman of the Abyei Administrative Area Ajak Deng Miyen acknowledged the fighting but denied the youth have attacked Twic Territories.

“Yes, it is true that the fighting took place this morning in Malual Aleu and Athony areas. And according to the cessation of hostilities signed in Aweil, the areas of Athony and Aneet were to be guarded by the special forces from the SSPDF but this angered the UNISFA because their mandate does not allow military from South Sudan or Sudan to be presence within Abyei box,” said.

So, the UNISFA went to Athony on the 8th of May 2022 to tell SSPDF to leave the area. For this matter, the SSPDF soldiers left the area and as a result the fighting between us (Abyei youth) and Twic resume,” Miyen narrated.

On the 10th February, 2022 fighting started in Aneet between Abyei and Twic armed youth over land ownership. One month later, President Salva Kiir Mayardit formed an investigation committee headed by Vice President to find the root causes which resulted to the violence.

In respond, the Aneet fact finding committee has condemned the violating of the Ceasefire agreement.

In a condemnation letter signed by Hon. Dhieu Mathok the minister of Investment who doubled as the Secretary for Aneet-Investigation committee said that the Committee shall send a delegation to investigate the reasons for renewing clashes, adding that the culprits shall be brought to book. 

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