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Maj.Gen Lul Ruai Koang, the SSPDF spokesperson.

SSPDF deploys troops South of Abyei Box to deter communal clashes

The South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) has deployed about 5,000 soldiers on the border between Abyei Administrative Area and Warrap State, to deter intermittent communal clashes between neighboring communities of Ngok Dinka and Twic Mayardit community.

Maj.Gen Lul Ruai Koang, the SSPDF spokesperson said the soldiers are deployed south of the Abyei box to provide security to the two warring communities.

 “We did an additional deployment outside the Abyei box, because we are not authorized to deploy within Abyei box, we have deployed a brigade under the command of Maj. Gen Joseph Kuai,” said Koang in an interview with The Juba Echo in Juba on Friday.

In February 2024, 23 people were killed and 17 others injured in renewed communal clashes between armed youth from Twic Mayardit community of Warrap State and Ngok Dinka in Abyei Special Administrative Area.

Koang said that the forces deployed have been drawn from the SSPDF, Necessary Unified Forces (NUF), national police service and national security services.

“It is a force that reflects the diversity of our nation, it is a force that will be neutral, non-partisan and will not be part of the local problem,” he said.

Koang disclosed that they expect the Governor of Warrap State, Kuol Muor Muor, and Chol Deng Alak, the Chief Administrator of Abyei Special Administrative Area together with the youth leaders and traditional chiefs to engage in dialogue to find amicable solution to the hostilities between their two respective communities.

He noted that the deployment comes in the wake of the SSPDF, receiving security briefs on possible renewed clashes between the two communities.

“We took these neutral forces to ensure fighting between Ngok Dinka and their counterparts from Twic Mayardit stops, the force will create the buffer zone between the two warring communities so that enough room is given for a peaceful solution,” said Koang.

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