3rd March 2024
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UN Security Council renews UNISFA’s mandate

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Friday, May 13, 2022

UN Security Council members vote during a session. (File photo).

The UN Security Council has renewed the mandate of the peacekeeping force in the contested Abyei region for another six months.

All the 15 Council members voted overwhelmingly in favor of resolution 2630, to extend the peacekeeping mission’s mandate modification till Nov. 15, 2022.

The United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei was set up by the Security Council in June 2011 after a flare-up shortly before South Sudan’s independence.

Later that year, UNISFA’s mandate was modified to add tasks of supporting a Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism of Sudan and South Sudan.

The Council decides that UNISFA should maintain the authorized troop ceiling at 3,250 and the authorized police ceiling at 640.

It urges the governments of Sudan and South Sudan to provide full support for UNISFA in the implementation of its mandate and deployment of UNISFA personnel.

It reiterates that Abyei shall be demilitarized from any forces, as well as armed elements of the local communities, other than UNISFA and the Abyei Police Service.

A statement read “the Council urged the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to provide full support for UNISFA in the implementation of its mandate and deployment of UNISFA personnel, removing any obstacles that hinder the mission’s mandate to protect civilians in Abyei, and to ensure the safety, security, and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel and assets.”

“It also urged the Governments to facilitate the smooth functioning of all UNISFA bases and Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism team sites.”

Since the beginning of this year, UNISFA has faced a number of challenges that impeded its mandate.

These include three direct attacks on UNISFA patrol convoys and protests by local communities which resulted in the looting of UNISFA equipment and facilities.

The Russian Federation voiced regrets that the United States did not take the challenges into account.

Russia added that resolving the final status of Abyei will only be possible through an agreement by Sudan and South Sudan, without any outside interference.

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