Tens of thousands flee fighting in Sudan's Abyei: MSF

4th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Tens of thousands of people have fled clashes in the troubled oil-rich Abyei region on the border between north and south Sudan, leaving the town almost empty, charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said Friday.

"The latest outbreak of violence began on Sunday 27 February, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Abyei town.

"Since yesterday, tens of thousands of people have fled the town, leaving it mostly empty. MSF's upmost concern is to be able to reach and treat all patients impartially," said the relief group.

At least 70 people were killed and two villages razed in two days of fighting that started Tuesday between fighters from the Misseriya tribe, which supports the Khartoum government, and the Ngok Dinka people, who back the south.

Abyei did not take part in a referendum in January in which southern Sudan voted to secede from the north.

On Thursday, the United Nations ordered extra peacekeepers to the region.

© 2011 AFP

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