UN extends Abyei mission due to lack of accord between Sudan, South Sudan

Ethiopian peacekeepers of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) patrol at night in Abyei town, Abyei state, on December 14, 2016
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The UN Security Council on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution prolonging until November 15 a peacekeeping mission in Abyei, after Sudan and South Sudan failed to reach an agreement on the disputed oil-rich border region, diplomats said.

Drafted by the United States, the resolution provides for military and police of the United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) to be maintained at their current levels of around 4,000, most of them provided by Ethiopia.

In the resolution, the Security Council "reiterates that the Abyei Area shall be demilitarized from any forces, as well as armed elements of the local communities, other than UNISFA and the Abyei police."

It urged "the governments of Sudan and South Sudan and the local communities to take all necessary steps to ensure that Abyei is effectively demilitarized."

The Security Council called on Secretary-General Antonio Guterres provide a strategic review of the peacekeeping mission and a political assessment of events in Sudan and South Sudan "no later than 30 September 2021... providing detailed recommendations for further reconfiguration of the mission and establishing a viable exit strategy."

At the beginning of April, Guterres said that Sudan and South Sudan must reach an agreement on Abyei in order for the UN mission there to conclude.

Abyei has been contested since South Sudan gained independence in 2011 and UNISFA was deployed after deadly clashes that year displaced some 100,000 people

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