On Mar. 1, 2008, fresh clashes between Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) units and fighters from the Misseriya community in the oil-rich Abyei region left scores dead and the two sides trading blame over who was responsible for the latest skirmishes, AP reported.
At least 70 people were killed in the violence which occurred in south Al-Mayram, aid workers in the Southern capital of Juba said.
The UN’s Radio Miraya quoted the head of the Abyei Liberation Front, Mohammed Omer Al-Ansari, as saying the clashes were in retaliation for recent SPLM attacks. But the SPLM Secretary in Abyei, Chol Chan, instead accused the Sudanese government in Khartoum of arming the Misseriya.
A senior SPLM leader and minister for presidential affairs in the government of Southern Sudan, Luka Biong, said the attacks were carried out by a group he named as the Popular Defense Forces, supported by the Sudan Armed Forces. He called for investigations into the clashes.
Analysts warned that no area in Sudan is perhaps more volatile and carries more implications for the country’s future than Abyei. According to the International Crisis Group, the risk of a return to war is rising because of the Abyei stalemate.
In the early hours of the morning on Mar. 1, 2008, national police and military forces in Yerevan dispersed peaceful demonstrations that had been going on for 10 days non-stop in Liberty Square protesting the official results of the presidential election. Later that same day, people spontaneously gathered in the square in front of the Aleksandr Myasnikyan statue, across the street from Yerevan City Hall. In the evening, a state of emergency was declared and the army called in to quell the protests, who used “excessive force and violence” which resulted in the death of 10 people, including Tigran Khachatryan.
Till today, no arrests or charges have been made in connection with Khachatryan’s murder.