Unknown gunmen opened fire on in Abyei area on Tuesday, July 16, killing six civilians and one UN peacekeeper. According to a UN station, the incident occurred during a routine patrol in Amiet market, north of the town of Abyei. One other UN peacekeeper was wounded in the attack. Further violence is possible in the near term.
Abyei is a disputed region claimed by Sudan and South Sudan. The UN has maintained a peacekeeping force under the auspices of UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) since 2011 to contain violence in the region.
Individuals in northern South Sudan are advised to remain vigilant for militant activity, adhere to instructions issued by their home government, and ensure security guidelines and advice are followed.
Many Western governments advise against nonessential travel to South Sudan due to ongoing violence against civilians, international staff, and aid workers. Border regions, including Abyei, should particularly be avoided. If travel is necessary, ensure that proper security protocols are in place.
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