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ABYEI - 16 Jul 2019

UN peacekeeper killed in Abyei

A United Nations soldier has been killed and another critically injured in an attack on peacekeepers in the Abyei region, a top commander said.

Unknown gunmen attacked the UNISFA troops providing security at the Amiet market in which one Ethiopian soldier was killed and another critically injured, according to Gen. Mehari Zewde Gebremariam, UNISFA’s Acting Head of Force Commander.

The Amiet common market was established to sustain peace between the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya tribes in the area.

“I am deeply concerned that peacekeepers who are working day and night to enable people carry out their normal business activities at the Amiet market would come under any form of attack,” Gen. Mehari said in a statement on Tuesday.

He further said five other people including two women and an eight months child were also reportedly killed during the attack, while several cattle were also allegedly rustled.

Condemning the violence, Zewde said such attacks on UN soldiers could be considered war crimes.

The force commander called on all the communities in Abyei to respect the arms free status of Abyei and warned against activities that are capable of further fuelling conflict in the region.

He reaffirmed UNISFA’s commitment to continue working with all communities within Abyei Box.

UN peacekeepers in the disputed region of Abyei, known as UNISFA, have been active in the area since 2011.

UNISFA’s establishment came after Sudan’s government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) reached an agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to demilitarise Abyei and let Ethiopian troops monitor the area.