Published — Monday 6 May 2013
Last update 6 May 2013 4:21 am
KHARTOUM: One Ethiopian peacekeeper was killed and two others wounded when a UN convoy was caught up in a tribal clash in the Abyei border region claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan, the United Nations said yesterday.
Sudan and South Sudan in March agreed to resume cross-border oil flows and defuse tensions which have plagued them since the South seceded in 2011 after an independence vote.
But they were unable to decide on the ownership of Abyei, which both the Dinka tribe allied to South Sudan and the Arab Misseriya tribe allied to Sudan call their home.
Kuwal Deng Mayok, the top Dinka leader in Abyei, was traveling with a UN convoy when he was killed by members of the Misseriya in a clash on Saturday that risked fueling new tensions in the flashpoint area.
An Ethiopian peacekeeper was also killed and two others seriously wounded by a Misseriya tribesman, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s office said.
“The Secretary-General urges the governments of Sudan and South Sudan and the ... Dinka and Misseriya communities to remain calm and avoid any escalation of this unfortunate event,” it said in a statement.
Abyei straddles the border between the neighbors, who fought one of Africa’s longest civil wars. It is prized for its fertile land and small oil reserves.