UN Security Council extends Abyei force, requests exit strategy
May 11, 2021 (NEW YORK) – The United Nations Security Council extended the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) for six months and requested a viable exit strategy.
In a resolution endorsed on Tuesday, the Security Council extended until 15 November 2021 the mandate of UNISFA as set out in paragraph 2 of resolution 1990 (2011).
Besides the protection of civilians, the resolution extended the UNISFA’ mandate to provide support to the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) on the Sudan-South Sudan border.
The 15 member body reiterated the need to implement the temporary administrative and security arrangements for Abyei agreed in June 2011.
Also, it encourages the African Union and the UN envoy for the Horn of African to push the parties to establish the temporary administration and joint police of Abyei and to “engage on finding a resolution of the final status of Abyei”.
The Security Council “urges the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan and the local communities to take all necessary steps to ensure that Abyei is effectively demilitarized and to extend full cooperation to UNISFA in this regard,” reads the resolution seen by Sudan Tribune.
The 15-member body requested the UN Secretary-General to provide, no later than 30 September 2021, detailed recommendations for further reconfiguration of the mission and establishing a viable exit strategy.
This plan ” should prioritize the safety and security of civilians living in Abyei, account for stability of the region, and include an option for an exit strategy for UNISFA that is not limited by the 2011 agreements,” stressed the Council.
Last year, the Council requested UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to consult, Sudan, South Sudan and the troop-contributing country, Ethiopia, on the exit strategy of UNISFA.
While Sudan says ready to consider the formation of the joint administration in Abyei as agreed in 2011, South Sudan rejects the idea. Juba says the “mission’s exit should be envisaged only after the resolution of the final status of Abyei”.
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