Thursday, February 29, 2024

Ghanaian UN peacekeeper killed in violence in South Sudan

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

A United Nations peacekeeper from Ghana was been killed on Saturday during violent clashes between rival local groups in the Abyei region on South Sudan’s border with Sudan.

The peacekeeper who was killed, died alongside some civilians as a result of the clashes, a U.N. statement has said. The tribes involved in the clashes have not been named.

The Abyei region which is rich in oil resources is a focal point of violence. Rival factions of the Dinka ethnic group are locked in a dispute over the location of an administrative boundary.

The ownership of Abyei itself is disputed between Sudan and South Sudan, which declared independence from Sudan in 2011.

The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), said the clashes occurred in three locations in the Abyei area on Saturday.

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Due to the recorded casualties, an evacuation of civilians to UNISFA bases to provide safety for those caught up in the violence was carried out.

The UN statement said during the fighting, one of the UNISFA bases came under attack. Although the attack was repelled according to UN officials, “tragically a Ghanaian peacekeeper was killed during the incident.”

“UNISFA strongly condemns today’s series of armed attacks in Abyei, causing civilian casualties and the death of a UN peacekeeper from Ghana and extends profound condolences to families affected by the violence,” UNISFA said in its statement.

Clashes between different communities are common in South Sudan. Years of a devastating war triggered by disagreement between country’s leader, Salva Kiir, and his former deputy, Riek Machar, is still having an impact on the country.

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