By William Madouk
At least eighteen people have been killed and eighteen others wounded in another series of fresh attacks in Abyei.
Information Minister for Abyei Special Administrative Area, Mr. Bulis Koch told No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that the attacks happened at 2:00 AM on Sunday.
He claimed that armed youth from Warrap and Gai Machiek’s militia groups were responsible.
“The attack happened today at 2:00 AM, and eighteen people were killed and eighteen others were wounded in three villages; four people were killed in Akechnhial and fourteen in Abethook,” Koch said.
“Armed youth from Warrap and Gai Machiek militia attacked three villages in Abyei, for instance, in Akecnhial in Alal County, Machboung in Rummer, and Abethook in Mijak County,” he added.
He explained that four women, three children, and an MSF humanitarian worker were among the eighteen killed on the ill-fated Sunday. Koch said the Abyei authority is going to enforce the curfew.
“The situation is relatively calm now, but we are enforcing curfews starting from 6:00 a.m. up to 6:00 p.m. on all civilians,” he noted.
Mr. Koch echoed that recent rally by Twic youth, civil society, and chiefs in Warrap in rejection of presidential orders and the expulsion of the Nuer spiritual leader as a clear violation of President Salva Kiir’s directives.
However, when contacted, Warrap State Minister of Information, William Wol, disputed the accusation and delinked the Twic armed youth from the said attack with the Abyei Administrative Area.
“This is not related to Warrap State, particularly Twic County. You know, even last week, they falsely accused Warrap state over the issue of attacks within Abyei town; this is not true,” said Wol.
He added that the counties where attacks occurred cannot be reached by Twic armed youth due to distance.
He alleged that there are some Nuer armed youth allied to the Ngok who were responsible, and this was after Abyei authorities wanted to apply a presidential directive by ordering them out of the Abyei box, leading to clashes.
“This is completely mere propaganda; they have their internal issues, and we cannot go and support it or do anything about it because they are enforcing presidential order and we are doing the same here,” Wol noted.
“Gai Machiek is under pressure to leave Warrap, and he is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt to go; he has no intention to even go attack Abyei.”
According to the Warrap minister of information, since a presidential order was issued, the Twic armed forces have never waged any further attacks.
“On January 16, up to date, no attack has been waged from the side of Twic; they have respected the presidential order and are still respecting it,” he claimed.