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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid