"An Ethiopian military helicopter registration Number UNO 379P with 23 passengers on board has crashed today at around 1310H inside the compound of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) killing three of its crew members… Ten passengers were injured with three in critical condition," UNISFA said in a statement, published on its official Facebook page late on Saturday.
"The MI-8 helicopter was on routine operation carrying Ethiopian troops on rotation from Kadugli to Abyei when it crashed… UNISFA’s sole troop contributing country Ethiopia is currently rotating its soldiers from Kadugli to different sites in the Abyei area," the statement added.
The United Nations' mission was deployed to the region in 2011 after violent clashes renewed in resource-rich Abyei when South Sudan was about to officially proclaim its independence from Sudan. Around 4,500 Ethiopian military personnel support UNISFA's peacekeeping efforts in the region. Meanwhile, the Abyei remains disputed by Sudan and South Sudan.