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January 21, 2011

Blog from Bec Hamilton in Abyei

I'm now in Malakal and spent last night with the returnees crowded
into the stadium here. They are living under makeshift "tents" of
sticks and plastic sheeting. Conditions are far from ideal but for the
most part they still say they are happy to be "home"

Foreign Affairs
Letter from Abyei, Jan. 21, 2010: LETTER FROM ABYEI:

[Despite the successful referendum in southern Sudan, the unresolved
status of a town straddling the border between North and South could
spark civil war once again.]
By Rebecca Hamilton
[REBECCA HAMILTON, is a fellow at the New America foundation, the
recipient of a Pulitzer Center grant, and the author of Fighting for
‘In the past two weeks, clashes north of Abyei have left at least 33
dead. Several buses full of southern Sudanese returnees from Khartoum
have been attacked; the insecurity has led to road closures, which
have generated food and fuel shortages in the town of Abyei. And an
annual migration of people and cattle that almost always results in
civilian casualties is now under way. Exacerbating these immediate
tensions is the looming question of whether Abyei will belong to the
north or the south in the likely event that Sudan splits in two.

As southern Sudanese rejoice over their successful referendum, the
people of Abyei find themselves in a precarious position. --’
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