Security Council members today voiced sadness at the deaths of four United Nations peacekeepers who were killed earlier this week after a landmine exploded in Sudan’s disputed Abyei area.
The four blue helmets, all from Ethiopia, were on patrol with the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) in Mabok, southeast of the town of Abyei, when they were killed yesterday. Seven other peacekeepers were injured in the explosion.
In a press statement, Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri of India, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency this month, said the 15-member panel offered its deep sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Ethiopian Government.
The statement – echoing a similar statement yesterday from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – stressed the Council’s full support for the work of UNISFA and urged all parties to recent fighting in Abyei to cooperate with the mission.
More than 1,500 Ethiopian troops have been deployed since the Council voted in June to establish UNISFA after north-south violence in Abyei and surrounding areas forced more than 100,000 people to flee their homes.