Khartoum, Sudan, 27 Jumadil Akhir 1434/6 May 2013 (MINA) – The top tribal chief in the flashpoint Abyei region disputed by Sudan and South Sudan was killed Saturday in an incident involving a rival tribe, leaders from both groups said.
United Nations peacekeepers were also wounded, an Abyei resident familiar with the situation said, adding a curfew has been declared in the area.
“Today the top Dinka leader, Kual Deng Majok, was killed in Abyei after he was attacked by Misseriya (tribesmen). One of his people accompanying him was also killed,” a Dinka official told AFP, requesting anonymity.
A Misseriya chief also confirmed the death, saying Majok “was killed today,” the Modern Ghana quoted by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
According to analyst, Majok’s death can only inflame tensions in the Dinka-dominated area whose status has not been resolved despite steps which Sudan and South Sudan have taken since March to normalise their relations, after months of intermittent clashes along their undemarcated frontier.
Abyei’s status was the most sensitive issue left unresolved when South Sudan separated in 2011.
The Misseriya leader, based just outside Abyei in Sudan’s South Kordofan state, said Majok was travelling north from Abyei town with peacekeepers from the UN’s Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), the only authority in the area.
“A group of Misseriya stopped the convoy and started negotiations. Then a clash happened when a UNISFA soldier shot one of the Misseriya who was readying his weapon,” said the Misseriya chief who asked to remain anonymous.
During the resulting clash, “the Dinka leader’s car was hit by an explosion and he and his driver were killed”. (T/P09/E1).
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).