Ethnic Fight Kills 32 In Disputed Region Straddling Sudan, South Sudan

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A Sudanese man looks at tires burnt by protesters to close the highway to northern cities amid a wave of unrest over the lifting of fuel subsidies by the Sudanese government, in Kadro, 15 miles (24.14 kilometers) north of downtown Khartoum, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013. Sudan's loss of its main oil-producing territory with the independence of South Sudan in 2011 was a punch to its fragile economy. (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)

Attacks by rival factions of the Dinka ethnic group in an area claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan killed at least 32 people over the weekend, a local official said on Monday.

The attacks, carried out on Sunday in two counties by armed militias and soldiers wearing South Sudanese army uniforms, were condemned by a government representative from Abiye, an oil-rich territory on the border between the two countries.

“During these attacks, 32 people were killed, including children and women burnt to death in their huts, and more than 20 people were injured,” said Bulis Koch Aguar Ajith, Minister of Information for Abiye and South Sudanese spokesman for the region, in a statement issued on Sunday evening.

“A UNIFSA (United Nations Interim Security Force for Abye) soldier was killed and another wounded”, he added in the statement, without giving further details.

South Sudan has called for an urgent investigation into these “barbaric attacks on civilians”.

Located between Sudan and South Sudan, the Abiye region has been a flashpoint since the South gained independence in 2011.