UN chief mourns death of four Ethiopian peacekeepers in Abyei
“He also expresses his concern for the well-being of the seven other peacekeepers who were injured in the explosion.”
Abyei is a contested region that lies on the borders of Sudan and the newly independent state of South Sudan. Both sides agreed to withdraw all their forces from the oil rich district and allow for the deployment of peacekeepers from Ethiopia.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) last June authorized the 4,200 strong force as the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).
A landmine detonated in the village of Mabok, around 30 kilometers (20 miles) southeast of the territory’s main town of Abyei killing the four soldiers and badly wounding seven others who were airlifted to South Kordofan state capital of Kadugli.
The village was previously under the control of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). Sudan is a signatory to the Ottawa treaty banning the use of anti-personnel mines.
Abyei’s status was supposed to be decided in a referendum last January but the vote stalled due to disagreements between Khartoum and Juba on who is eligible to vote. It has yet to be determined how this will be resolved.