The UN Security Council on Tuesday renewed the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in Abyei, a territory contested by Sudan and South Sudan, by six months, till Nov.15, 2021.
Resolution 2575, which won the unanimous support of the 15 members of the Security Council, also decides to extend the peacekeeping mission’s mandate modification till Nov. 15, 2021.
The Security Council first modified the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) in December 2011 to add tasks of supporting a Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism of Sudan and South Sudan, which gained independence from the former in July 2011.
The resolution decides that UNISFA should maintain the authorized troop ceiling at 3,550 and the authorized police ceiling at 640.
It demands the governments of Sudan and South Sudan provide full support for UNISFA in the implementation of its mandate, specifically the deployment of UNISFA personnel, including the removal of obstacles that hinder UNISFA’s work to protect civilians in Abyei.
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, and urges the governments of Sudan and South Sudan and the local communities to take all necessary steps to ensure that Abyei is effectively demilitarized. UNISFA was set up by the Security Council in June 2011 after a flare-up shortly before South Sudan’s independence.