News / Africa

    South Sudan Says UN Agencies Withhold Abyei Aid

    Thousands have returned to Abyei, mostly Ngok Dinka, who say they are happy to be back to their traditional homeland. (AP)Thousands have returned to Abyei, mostly Ngok Dinka, who say they are happy to be back to their traditional homeland. (AP)
    x
    Thousands have returned to Abyei, mostly Ngok Dinka, who say they are happy to be back to their traditional homeland. (AP)
    Thousands have returned to Abyei, mostly Ngok Dinka, who say they are happy to be back to their traditional homeland. (AP)
    Michael Onyiego

    The South Sudanese co-chair of a committee set up to administer Abyei has accused United Nations agencies in the disputed border area of withholding humanitarian assistance from tens of thousands of returnees.

    “What we have observed about the United Nations Systems is that there is lack of decision and lack of coordination," Luka Biong Deng, who co-chairs the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC), told reporters in Juba after a trip to the Abyei area to see the conditions faced by returning residents.

    "Resources are there... even the IOM has non-food items, but nobody is taking the decision to distribute these to the people," he said.
     


    Mark Cutts, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan, told VOA News in an email from Khartoum that the U.N. was making "every effort to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs of all those in the Abyei area.

    "What is needed above all else is a political solution and the establishment of a joint Abyei area administration. Without this we will continue to face enormous difficulties in helping to meet the needs of all civilians in the Abyei area, and in helping those who have been displaced to return and start to rebuild their lives," he added.

    Abyei has been the source of dispute between the Sudans for decades. Part of South Kordofan in Sudan until the end of the 22-year civil war, it was given "special administrative status" under the 2005 peace agreement that ended the conflict.
    Its final status was supposed to be determined in a referendum in January 2011 -- at the same time as South Sudan voted for independence from Khartoum --  but the Abyei vote never happened.

    In May 2011, Sudan invaded Abyei, and some 110,000 people fled the area. Most of them have since returned, and were living on food assistance provided by tribal chiefs and members of their communities.

    The African Union has laid out groundrules for a proposed new referendum on the final status of Abyei. One of the suggested rules specifies that only Ngok Dinka people -- who have strong ties to the Dinka of South Sudan -- and others who reside permanently in Abyei would be eligible to vote.

    Deng accused Sudan of planning to resettle Arab nomads in Abyei ahead of the proposed referendum and called on UN forces in the area to block the resettlement effort.

    Abyei is the traditional homeland of the Ngok Dinka, but members of a northern nomadic Arab tribe cross the disputed area regularly to take their cattle to water sources and pastureland.

     

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora