Bruna Maloal (right), a 63-year old Roman Catholic catechist, leads a group of women in prayer in Abyei, a town at the center of the contested Abyei region along the border between Sudan and South Sudan. Her home was looted and burned in 2011 when soldiers and militias from the northern Republic of Sudan swept through the area, chasing out Maloal and tens of thousands of others. Yet she and a handful of other residents returned to the town in 2012 after northern combatants withdrew. She has been constructing a new mud-walled hut, and has constructed the framework for a thatched roof, but has yet to cut the grasses needed for the thatching. Although Ethiopian peacekeepers patrol the region, renewed attacks by northern-backed Misseriya militias in 2013 have Maloal and others here worried. 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. The women praying with her, from left, are Maria Aneth Miyen (with her 15-month old daughter Angueich), Paskualina Kiir, and Karla Abuk Deng.