The United States deplores the acts of violence that resulted in the death of Kuol Deng Kuol and a United Nations peacekeeper.
A prominent leader of the Ngoc Dinka ethnic group in the disputed border region between Sudan and South Sudan was shot and killed while traveling in a United Nations peacekeepers convoy on a mission to improve inter-ethnic relations in the area. The United States deplores the acts of violence that resulted in the death of Kuol Deng Kuol and a United Nations peacekeeper and extends its deep condolences to their families and the Ngoc Dinka people.
The incident began May 4, when a convoy of Ngoc Dinka leaders working on a settlement of the political future of the Abyei border regionas was surrounded by armed Arab Misseriya, who disagree with the Ngoc Dinka over who should control the area and how. The convoy was accompanied by members of the interim U.N. security force. Shots were fired during the confrontation and Kuol was killed, as was the peacekeeper as he tried to restore order. Tensions in the region have been heightened and the African Union has called for an independent inquiry into the killings.
The United States shares these concerns and urges all relevant parties to exercise restraint during this sensitive and volatile period. We appeal for calm in Abyei and implore all sides to avoid further escalation of violence.
This tragic incident underscores the need for progress in establishing the joint administration and police for Abyei and for a fair and equitable means for addressing its final status, as embodied in the proposal put forward in September by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel.