First Published: 2012-11-14

 

UN troops shoot dead Dinka protester in disputed Abyei

 

Officials confirm member of Dinka tribe who worked for UN's Interim Security Force for Abyei died after clashes with peacekeepers.

 

Middle East Online

By Ian Timberlake – KHARTOUM

Tensions high

UN troops in the flashpoint Abyei region shot and killed one of the mission's own employees who had joined a tribal dispute, an Abyei resident familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.

UN officials confirmed that a member of the Dinka tribe who worked for the UN's Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) died after clashes with the peacekeepers.

The incident is the most serious in the region since Sudanese troops withdrew in May to end a year-long occupation that forced more than 100,000 people to flee Abyei towards South Sudan.

It adds to tensions before an early-December deadline for Khartoum and Juba to settle the final status of Abyei, the most sensitive matter left unresolved when the South separated last year.

The dead man was among a group of Dinka youths who harassed leaders of the nomadic Arab Misseriya tribe who went to Abyei town to meet the UNISFA commander, the Abyei resident said.

Because the town is still deserted and devoid of facilities, the group of about 20 Misseriya had spent the night at the local mosque, which the Dinka began stoning around dawn on Tuesday, said the resident, who asked for anonymity.

"A group of Ethiopian military was pushing these people, trying to stop them from stoning," but the peacekeepers were also targeted by the rocks, leaving one injured, the resident said.

Two of the Dinka then directly confronted the troops, trying to seize their weapons, the source added.

Peacekeepers fired warning shots into the air but one man who continued trying to seize a weapon was shot and killed. He worked in administration for UNISFA, the source said, adding that a UNISFA labourer was shot and wounded.

Dinka are a dominant tribe in South Sudan.

Damian Rance, a public information officer with the UN's humanitarian agency in Khartoum, confirmed that a Dinka UNISFA employee "was shot and killed".

In New York, the spokesman for UN chief Ban Ki-moon said late Tuesday that "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.

"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," he said.

Rance said he understood that tensions rose on Monday when Misseriya tribal chiefs went to Abyei town for a meeting with the head of UNISFA, upsetting the Dinka.

"UNISFA put up security and the crowd dispersed," Rance said.

The deadly clash occurred the following day.

"Now the situation is under control," the Abyei resident said.

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.

Ban said he remained extremely concerned that joint institutions, including police for the Abyei area, have not yet been established.

Sudan and South Sudan in late September signed agreements on oil and border security which they hailed as ending their conflict after a war along their undemarcated frontier in March and April.

Despite those pacts reached through African Union mediation, they could not finalise the status of Abyei and other disputed border areas.

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.

The AU set a December 5 deadline for the two countries to resolve Abyei's final status or be bound by an AU proposal for a referendum in October next year.

Under that proposal, Dinka would have the right to vote, along with Sudanese with "permanent abode" in the Abyei area.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir vowed last week that "all Misseriya will participate in the Abyei referendum."

 

Misrata rushes militiamen to stop IS advance

Dozens dead in fierce clashes south of Aleppo

Saudi policeman killed in Mecca region

Turkey's Erdogan on march to one-man rule

Will London elect its first Muslim mayor?

Libya, Tunisia pledge cooperation against terrorism

Syrian forces assault prison to end mutiny

Turkey journalist Dundar escapes shooting, attacker held

Prison chief in Yemen's Aden shot dead by gunmen

Hamas says not seeking war, but will resist Israeli incursions

No evidence against Algerian man accused of New Year's sex assault in Cologne

Kenya to stop hosting Somali refugees

Erdogan warns EU Turkey will not change anti-terror law

Top Israeli officials accused of leaking Gaza war report

Baghdad protest stifled amidst heavy security

Syria regime denies targeting displacement camp

Jubeir: Vision 2030 will take Saudi’s advancement to another level

Yemen foes discuss key issues in Kuwait talks

UN urged to take action over rebel fire on besieged Yemen city

Egypt's Sisi touts economic accomplishments

Davutoglu to step down after failing to escape Erdogan's shadow

US aid ship docks with food for Sudan war zones

Israel court recommends returning Palestinian attackers' corpses

Saudi allows Binladin Group tenders after mass layoffs

Long Erdogan-Davutoglu honeymoon coming to an end

Tunisia confident border trade with Libya will resume 'very soon'

Syria army agrees to respect truce in Syria’s Aleppo

Israel strikes Hamas sites in Gaza

Malta likely to become first EU member to open Libya mission

Qaeda threatens to target homes of Yemen security forces

Anti-ISIS coalition pledges additional military commitment

UN warns Eastern Aleppo may soon become besieged

London set to elect its first Muslim Mayor

Fierce fighting rages in Aleppo as diplomacy efforts intensify

Riyadh's $22.5 bn Metro project on track

Egypt court sentences prominent activist to six months in prison

UK to take in more Syria child refugees

France to host Saudi, Qatar, UAE, Turkey FMs for Syria talks

US expects more military resources for anti-ISIS fight

Standoff escalates between Egypt journalists and authorities

Turkey says ready to send ground troops to Syria 'if necessary'

Hamas accuses Fatah of organising military cell in Gaza

Egypt court acquits Mubarak's last PM

Israel to upgrade ties with NATO as Turkey lifts veto

Passengers injured as Etihad flight hits severe turbulence