Sat | Jun 19, 2021

UN seeks proposals to end force on Sudan-South Sudan border

Published:Friday | May 14, 2021 | 12:14 AM

The UN Security Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to extend the mandate of the nearly 3,700-strong peacekeeping force in the disputed Abyei region on the Sudan-South Sudan border until November 15.

It also asked Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to provide recommendations for reconfiguring and ending the mission although Guterres informed the council early last month that he couldn’t provide such options because of differences between the two countries.

Both Sudan and South Sudan claim ownership of the oil-rich Abyei area. The 2005 peace deal that led to South Sudan’s independence from its northern neighbor in 2011 required both sides to work out the final status of region, but it is still unresolved. The UN force, known as UNISFA, has been in Abyei since 2011.

The resolution asks Guterres to conduct a strategic review of UNISFA, assessing recent political developments between Sudan and South Sudan, and provide detailed recommendations by September 30 on reconfiguring the mission “and establishing a viable exit strategy”.