GENEVA (AP) – A U.N. official wounded in a raid two weeks ago on a United Nations compound in southern Sudan has died, the world body’s refugee agency said Wednesday. Nabil Bahjat Abdulla, a 48-year-old Iraqi, died Tuesday night in a hospital in Nairobi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said. Abdulla was shot three times in the stomach when gunmen attacked the UNHCR compound in the town of Yei on March 15, also killing a Sudanese guard.
“Once again, the humanitarian community is mourning a friend and colleague who died trying to help others in a place that has already seen far too much sadness and violence,” U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “All of us at UNHCR mourn Nabil’s death and we extend our deepest condolences to his family. We pay tribute to his life, and his sacrifice will never be forgotten.”
Abdulla, a UNHCR logistics officer from Baghdad who joined the refugee agency in 1991, is survived by a wife and four children. He is the 22nd UNHCR employee to be killed in the line of duty since 1990, the agency said.
The UNHCR mission in Yei is part of an operation to enable 350,000 refugees to return to southern Sudan from neighboring countries in the wake of the January 2005 peace treaty that concluded a 20-year civil war.
UNHCR temporarily suspended repatriation of Sudanese refugees to three areas of southern Sudan after the armed attack and other violence in the region.