UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations reported another deadly attack Monday in the oil-rich region of Abyei that’s claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan.
It was the fourth attack in two months in the disputed area, signaling a deterioration of security.
The status of Abyei was unresolved after South Sudan became independent from its northern neighbor in July 2011. A referendum on its future was supposed to be held before independence, but the two sides have still been unable to agree on terms.
The region’s majority Ngok Dinka people are believed to be in favor of joining South Sudan. The Khartoum government insists that the Sudan-allied Misseriya nomads, who come to Abyei to find pasture for their cattle and spend up to six months there, should be eligible to participate in the referendum.
According to U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric, the U.N. force in Abyei reported that some 100 armed Misseriya attacked the village of Marialachak on Monday. The attackers killed four members of the majority Ngok Dinka, wounded three others, abducted four boys and four girls, and burned 24 houses, he said.