Juba, Nov 20 (EFE).- Fresh tribal clashes have left at least 32 people dead in a disputed South Sudanese region, an official said on Monday.
The clashes between the armed men of Twic Dinka and Ngok Dinka tribes of the same ethnic group occurred on Sunday night in Abyei, a western administrative region disputed between Sudan and South Sudan for years.
At least 20 people from both sides were also injured in the confrontations after armed youth from the Twic Dinka attacked the settlements of the Ngok Dinka in Alal and Rumamer villages in Abyei, regional Information Minister Bolis Kuch told Efe.
A United Nations peacekeeping mission soldier from Ghana also lost his life after the peacekeepers attempted to prevent the clashes between the tribesmen, the official said.
Despite the intervention of UN peacekeeping forces to separate the warring groups, the situation in the area remains “highly tense,” Kuch said.
He alleged that some members of the army, dressed in civilian clothes, also participated in the armed confrontation.
Ethnic violence between rival tribes is common in Abyei, an oil-rich region, disputed between Sudan and South Sudan since the latter gained independence in 2011.
On Thursday, armed tribesmen attacked an army base in the Ayok neighborhood of the region, resulting in the deaths of 39 people.
Tensions between the Twic and Ngok tribes escalated in 2021 after they clashed over the ownership of a local market in southern Abyei, leading the tribes to form their own militia groups.
Efforts to resolve the longstanding dispute between Juba and Khartoum over Abyei have been unsuccessful in recent years, with the region remaining under the administration of the South Sudanese government. EFE