The United Nations (U.N.) Security Council has extended the mandate of its interim security force in a contested region on the border of Sudan and South Sudan, Abyei for six months.
By the terms of resolution, the 15-member Council, acting under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter and recognizing that the situation in Abyei constitutes a threat to international peace and security, decided to extend the mandate of the operation formally known as the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) until 15 November.
“It extended until the same date the set of tasks set out for the mission in paragraph 2 of resolution 1990 (2011), while also extending the mandate modification laid out in resolution 2024 (2011) and paragraph 1 of resolution 2075 (2012),” the statement read. “Those provide for UNISFA’s support to the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism, established to conduct monitoring and verification activities along the border between Sudan and South Sudan.”
The U.N. 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.
“In addition, Council members requested the Secretary-General to continue to inform them of progress in implementing UNISFA’s mandate, in particular with regard to the increase in police, the appointment of a civilian Deputy Head of Mission, usage of Antony airport, and the issuance of visas, and to submit a written report on those matters no later than 15 October,” it added.
According to the statement, the representative of the Russian Federation, speaking after the adoption, said his delegation supported the draft in the view that United Nations peacekeepers are essential in maintaining peace in Abyei.
“However, certain challenges on the ground are well-known. For example, protests by local communities recently resulted in cases where UNISFA was prevented from carrying out its mandate,” it added. “In response, the Russian Federation put forward a proposal related to the use of “quick-impact” projects. Voicing regret that the United States did not take that into account in the drafting of today’s resolution, he stressed that agreement on the final status of Abyei will only be possible through agreement by both Sudan and South Sudan, without any outside interference.”