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mia farrow

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May 27, 2011

Abyei-from worse to even worse

families flee from Abyei attacks

  1. Abyei family now homeless

Abyei town last month

Abyei town-families left in haste

I took these pictures last month, all but the first picture.
There was not a lot to see in Abyei; a sprawling of tukus (huts) and the marketplace. But the area is fertile and it is home to the Ngok Dinka people. Abyei town was almost deserted even when I visited. Attacks by the Misserya, an Arab tribe armed and backed by Khartoum had caused families to flee.
People were, as you see them in these photographs, traumatized, with their possessions piled high, along the road to Agok town, 20 kilometers southward.
But last week things got a lot worse. A massive northern military convoy, heavily armed and with tanks, moved into the town, looting and burning homes. US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice told AP, "- the government of Sudan may have taken a decision to continue to occupy Abyei for its own political advantage for an indefinite period."
"The ultimate strategy is to ethnically cleanse Abyei, similar to what the regime has done in parts of Darfur." said John Prendergast

So upwards of one hundred thousand people are trying to get as from Abyei as possible, without food, water or shelter from the rains, the rainly season has already begun.
Dominic Deng, commissioner of the area bordering Abyei said today, "Things are going from worse to even worse" for the refugees. "They are sleeping under trees. They need food and water...some people are dying."
Human Rights Watch:
"'We are seeing yet again that the failure to insist on justice for atrocities in Darfur can embolden further abuses. This is a wake-up call to the international community that more political weight is needed to ensure suspects for the heinous crimes in Darfur - including President al-Bashir - appear in the dock.'

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