Abyei, a disputed region between North and South Sudan has become a potential battleground for the two entities. Claiming that the South Sudanese forces attacked without provocation, the North Sudanese military rolled into Abyei on the 22nd with tanks and approximately 5,000 troops forcing tens of thousands of people to flee possible fighting.
Reports indicate more than 35,000 people have fled towns in the Abyei Area nearly overwhelming the United Nations humanitarian teams that were on standby. It has also been confirmed that pillaging and razing have occured.
No significant civilian casualties have been reported as of yet.
This conflict comes before North and South Sudan formalize South Sudan’s secession from the north. Incensed by its counterpart’s action, the South Sudanese government declared the actions as acts of war.
Despite its misgivings, the South Sudanese government reportedly withdrew forces from Abyei.
North Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir threatened that a provocation of any sort from the South could lead to war. The president also added that Abyei was a territory of North Sudan contradicting previous compromises made in the past.
The United Nations and the African Union have pressured both sides to cease hostilities at once.
As if to show how much the situation has become awry, four United Nations helicopters and a convoy were shot upon, presumably by the North Sudanese.