54 killed in clashes in disputed Abyei region between Sudan, South Sudan: UN

Khartoum, Jan 30 (UNI) Fifty-two civilians and two peacekeepers have been killed in inter-communal clashes in the oil-rich area of Abyei contested between Sudan and South Sudan, the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) said in a statement on Monday.

UNISFA “is concerned about the continuing inter-communal clashes (in Abyei) that resulted in the death of another UN peacekeeper on Saturday,” the statement said.

The UN mission added that it was coordinating with local authorities to verify the toll of the slain, injured, and displaced due to the clashes, putting the current number of dead and wounded among civilians at 52 and 64, respectively.

UNISFA strongly condemned these attacks against civilians and peacekeepers, citing that violence against blue helmets may constitute a war crime under international law.

It noted that it was making every effort to restore calm, including proactively and robustly protecting civilians, reiterating its call for a swift investigation to hold perpetrators accountable.

The UN peacekeeping force was established in 2011 by the UN Security Council to monitor the contested Abyei area, with up to 5,326 troops stationed on the border between Sudan and South Sudan.

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