Fides Service REPORT - "The situation of displaced people of Abyei remains dramatic, despite the arrival of some humanitarian aid", said Mgr.Roko Taban Mousa to Fides, Apostolic Administrator of Malakal in southern Sudan, in whose jurisdiction Abyei is included, an area disputed between north and south Sudan. The homonymous capital was occupied by the military in Khartoum on 21 May (see Fides 25/5/2011). Tens of thousands of villagers have fled provoking a serious humanitarian crisis. "Tens of thousands of people are still living in the open in the woods, under the incessant rain. Food and medicines continue to be scarce. The situation of mothers is particularly dramatic, who have been forced to give birth along the roadside and infants are victims of malaria and dysentery", says Mgr.Mousa.
North and South Sudan have reached an agreement that provides for the dispatch of 4,200 Ethiopian peacekeepers in Abyei, withdrawal of troops from Khartoum and the demilitarization of the area (see Fides 21/6/2011). "The dispatch of the deployment of UN troops is expected after July 9 (the date of the proclamation of the independence of southern Sudan). It is hoped that, when the Ethiopian peacekeepers will finally be deployed, people regain confidence and return to Abyei, and regain farming the land", says the Apostolic Administrator of Malakal. A difficult return because, as pointed out by Mgr. Mousa, "several houses in Abyei have been ransacked and destroyed by the troops of Northern Sudan".
As for South Kordofan, the other region in the center of tensions between north and south Sudan, Mgr. Mousa reports "that the situation is unclear, partly because reporters are not allowed to go there. It is therefore difficult to ascertain from independent witnesses what is happening in the area. It is known that in South Kordofan, the humanitarian situation is very serious", concludes the Apostolic Administrator of Malakal.