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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More