Deadly clashes in Abyei on first day of South Sudan referendum
By Ngor Arol Garang
January 9, 2011 (JUBA) – A series of clashes over the last three days involving local police force and armed elements allegedly associated with members of nomadic tribe of Misseriya , in the oil-producing region of Abyei has left an unknown number dead.
A family from southern Sudan, who has been staying in the north for 21 years, waits in Khartoum January 9, 2011 to be transported in a convoy back to the Abyei oil region (Reuters)
Yesterday Khartoum-based Arabic newspaper Al-Sahafah reported the more than 49 people were killed and dozens wounded in the clashes in the disputed area, although this has not been confirmed by the UN. Reports over the cause of the violence are not clear with different reasons put forward from both sides.
Al-Sahafah reported Sunday that, nine people of those killed from the Dinka Ngok ethnic group, while the rest were either police of members of the Misseriya tribe. Both sides accuse the other of attacking first. Reuters have reported that a UN official has confirmed the clashes have taken place but have not confirmed the number of killed or injured.