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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid