Security Council deplores failure by Sudan and South Sudan to withdraw forces from Abyei

4 November 2011

The Security Council today deplored the failure by the governments of Sudan and South Sudan to redeploy their troops from the disputed Abyei area and urged the two countries to do so immediately and without preconditions.

“The Members of the Security Council underscore that there were no preconditions for the implementations of the agreements signed by the parties including the withdrawal of forces,” the Council said in a press statement read out by Ambassador José Filipe Moraes Cabral of Portugal, which holds the presidency of the Security Council this month.

The Council urged both Sudan and South Sudan to implement agreements on Abyei “in spirit and letter.”

It welcomed the rapid deployment of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and the assistance provided by Government of Ethiopia, which has enabled regular patrols to be carried out since 23 August. The 15-member UN body encouraged UNISFA to increase its patrols and enhance its air mobility.

The press statement followed the briefing to the Council on the situation in Abyei on 6 and 11 October by Hervé Ladsous, the Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, including on recommendations for the expansion of UNISFA’s mandate.

Both the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan must extend their full cooperation to UNISFA, the Council stressed, and urged Khartoum to facilitate the mission’s deployment and to expedite the issuance of visas to personnel and grant flight permission in a timely manner.

The Council stressed the need for both countries to facilitate the safe return of internally displaced persons to their villages in Abyei and to provide unfettered humanitarian access to the area.

It expressed it readiness to consider additional mandated tasks for UNISFA in support of the 30 July Agreement on the Border Monitoring Support Mission between the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan, and in that regard reiterated the importance of all parties fulfilling the commitments already undertaken in agreements.

The members of the Council also called upon both parties to finalize the establishment of the Abyei Area Administration and the Abyei Police Service, and to continue regular meetings of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee.

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UN warns of more tension as Sudan and South Sudan maintain troops in disputed area

Neither Sudan nor South Sudan have fulfilled their pledges to withdraw their forces from the disputed Abyei area, threatening a “serious deterioration” in tensions between migrating herders and displaced farmers returning to plant their crops, the United Nations warned today.