The death of Kuol Deng Kuol, the leader of the Dinka Ngok tribe in Abyei, allied to South Sudan, sparked outrage. Young people burnt down the main market, a mosque and an outside office of the United Nations Interim Security Forces Abyei (UNISFA).
Kuol got killed in a stand-off between UNISFA and armed Misseriya on May 4. An Ethiopian peacekeeper and 15 Misseriya were also killed. Among the chorus of outrage, the Dinka Ngok, South Sudanese and international communities condemned the violence.
The African Union last week pushed for an urgent meeting of Sudanese and South Sudanese leaders to find an answer to the ongoing conflicts in the flashpoint Abyei region which is claimed by both Khartoum and Juba.
Kuol was succeeded by his younger brother, Bulbek Deng. On the day of burial, thousands of mourners chanted and marched to the UNISFA compound to receive the body. Both local authorities and residents on the ground blamed the UN security forces for failing to protect the chief and the people of Abyei.
The funeral was attended by government officials from South Sudan. Among the top officials who attended were SPLM General Secretary Pagan Amum, Warrap State Governor Nyandeng Malek, Minister of Cooperation and International Relations Deng Alor Kuol, Deputy Minister of Defences Majak Agoot and Warrap State ministers and commissioners.