UN confirms death of staff member in Abyei

UN confirms death of staff member in Abyei
# 14 November 2012 23:55 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The United Nations on Wednesday confirmed the death of a UN staff member from a Tuesday gunshot in Abyei, a disputed oil-rich area claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Asked about the death of a UN staff member in Abyei, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said "the UN Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) confirms the death of a national staff member on 13 November from gunshot injury, sustained during the violence that occurred while UNISFA troops were trying to control Ngok Dinka demonstrators who attempted to damage the Abyei town mosque."

"Given the present facts at hand, UNISFA is unable to confirm any further information," Nesirky told a daily news briefing here.

"The head of the (UN) Mission has directed that an inquiry be conducted to look into the circumstances of the staff member's unfortunate death," he said.

The UNISFA is mandated to oversee the demilitarization and maintain security of the Abyei area.

On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned a series of incidents that took place in Abyei and called on local communities to resolve their disputes through dialogue.

The final status of Abyei, a disputed region straddling the border between Sudan and South Sudan, has yet to be determined. It is one of the outstanding issues of the so-called Comprehensive Peace Agreement which helped bring an end to the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, before the latter's independence last year.

Previously, the secretary-general urged both parties to peacefully work towards resolving the matter, among other unresolved issues.

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