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Monday, May 23, 2011

UN Condemns Sudan's Incursion into Abyei

The United Nations Mission in Sudan has condemned Monday’s burning and looting that is reported to be currently taking place. The acts are being conduted by armed elements in Abyei, a disputed oil-rich border district according to reports.

The UN has called on the government to put a stop to it.

The humanitarian agency 
Doctors without Borders suspended some of its services in Abyei and issued a statement reading: 

"Nearly the entire population of Abyei town fled the city, which is now almost empty. MSF teams have suspended primary health care activities in Abyei and have now reached the fleeing population."

Fighting in the district of Abyei broke out May 19 when Southern Sudanese forces attacked a U.N. Mission in Sudan convoy escorting northern Sudanese Armed Forces. The attack, which resulted in the deaths of at least 22 soldiers, was followed by retaliation by the Sudanese army, which took control of the town and expelled southern Sudanese units.

The U.N. compound was shelled by mortar rounds, wounding two peacekeepers, said a statement from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's press office. The Sudanese armed forces said the military in Southern Sudan was behind the May 19 attack, but the Sudan People's Liberation Army denied responsibility.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir issued a decree Saturday dissolving Abyei's administration. The area had been governed by representatives from the north and south.

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