Dinka Ngok women carry their belongings as they accompany cattle herders driving animals southward in the contested Abyei region along the border between Sudan and South Sudan. Fearful of incursions by Misseriya nomads from the north, they and other residents are fleeing south to avoid violent confrontations. Residents of the area also fled south in 2011 after a prolonged attack by soldiers and militias from the northern Republic of Sudan. Although the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement called for residents of Abyei--which sits on the border between Sudan and South Sudan--to hold a referendum on whether they wanted to align with the north or the newly independent South Sudan, the government in Khartoum and the northern-backed Misseriya, excluded from voting as they only live part of the year in Abyei, blocked the vote and attacked the majority Dinka Ngok population. The African Union has proposed a new peace plan, including a referendum to be held in October 2013, but it has been rejected by the Misseriya and Khartoum. The Catholic parish of Abyei, with support from Caritas South Sudan and other international church partners, has maintained its pastoral presence among the displaced and assisted them with food, shelter, and other relief supplies.