UN says staffer killed in disputed Abyei region
UN chief condemns the murder of a local staff member with the UN's peacekeeping force in Abyei, a contested region by the two neighbouring Sudanese states
AFP , Wednesday 14 Nov 2012
A patrol from the international peacekeeping operation passes a destroyed UN truck transporting northern soldiers , north of Abyei town, May 30, 2011 (Photo: Reuters)
A local staff member with the UN's peacekeeping force in the Abyei region contested by Sudan and South Sudan has been killed in an incident that followed a tribal dispute, a UN official told AFP on Wednesday.
The employee, a member of the Dinka tribe, "was shot and killed" on Tuesday, Damian Rance, a public information officer with the UN's humanitarian agency in Khartoum, told AFP.
The staffer died as a result of clashes between Dinka protesters and the UN's Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), the spokesman for UN chief Ban Ki-moon said in New York.
"Today one national staff member succumbed to his injuries and another sustained an injury as a result of clashes in Abyei between UNISFA and Ngok Dinka demonstrators," Martin Nesirky said late on Tuesday.
"UNISFA has established checkpoints and is monitoring movements into Abyei. UNISFA's leadership is also meeting with Dinka and Misseriya representatives in an effort to defuse tensions."
Rance said he understood that tensions rose on Monday when Misseriya tribal chiefs went to a meeting in Abyei town with the head of UNISFA. This caused tensions with members of the Dinka tribe.
"UNISFA put up security and the crowd dispersed," Rance said.
The deadly clash occurred the following day.
Early Wednesday UN chief Ban condemned "the series of incidents that occurred in Abyei in the past 48 hours" and urged the communities to resolve their disputes through dialogue.
In a statement, Ban said he remained extremely concerned that joint institutions, including police for the Abyei area, have not yet been established and urged the parties quickly to address the issue.
The African Union had set a December 5 deadline for Sudan and South Sudan to resolve the final status of Abyei, which Sudanese troops withdrew from in May to end a year-long occupation.
Abyei was to hold a referendum in January 2011 on whether it belonged with the north or South, but disagreement on who could vote stalled the ballot.