The chief administrator of the Abyei administrative area, caught in a dispute between Sudan and South Sudan, reports that over 21,000 returnees, fleeing conflict in Sudan, urgently require humanitarian aid following deadly clashes over the weekend.
These returnees are scattered across various villages and Abyei town, as per the BBC’s findings.
Armed youth groups from South Sudan’s Warrap State raided Abyei over the weekend, resulting in the deaths of at least 52 people, including two UN peacekeepers.
Unisfa, the UN’s Interim Security Force in Abyei, is offering some food assistance to displaced individuals sheltering within its base, but resources are limited.
Chief administrator Chol Deng Alak, speaking from Abyei, termed the situation ‘complicated’, highlighting a lack of security preventing cultivation and an influx of returnees from Sudan that has further strained resources.
He emphasized the urgent need for humanitarian agencies to intervene and assess the dire situation faced by the returnees following the clashes.
A delegation from the UN’s humanitarian agency and other international organizations is expected to arrive in Abyei to evaluate the needs of the population.
The dispute over the oil-rich Abyei area between Sudan and South Sudan remains unresolved, with a temporary ‘special administrative’ arrangement currently governing the region.