Source: Radio Tamazuj

A top Ngok Dinka official in the disputed Abyei territory between Sudan and South Sudan has expressed concern about the security situation should the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) withdraw from the contested area in October.

UNISFA is one of three UN peacekeeping missions working in Sudan and South Sudan, the other two being UNAMID in Darfur and UNMISS in South Sudan.

In late May 2014, the United Nations Security Council renewed the mandate of UNISFA until 15 October 2014, saying that its mandate includes taking necessary actions to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence.

Abyei Area Commissioner Nyankuac Ngor told Radio Tamazuj Monday that local residents are fearing as the mandate of UNISFA is about to expire by October.

She attributed their concerns to seasonal migration of the Misseriya Arab nomadic tribe into the area.

The commissioner further said a delegation from the Abyei Area Administration has traveled to Juba in order to brief the South Sudanese government on the general situation in Abyei area.

The nine Ngok Dinka chiefdoms conducted a unilateral referendum in October last year on the status of Abyei that showed 99.9 percent of respondents in favor of joining South Sudan.

Neither South Sudan nor Sudan recognized the plebiscite so far.

UNISFA’s Force Commander, Ethiopian general Yohannes Gebremeskel Tesfamariam, was recently transferred to UNMISS, the larger peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

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