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UN chief asks Sudan, S.Sudan to agree on Abyei’s final status


UN chief asks Sudan, S.Sudan to agree on Abyei’s final status

The UN chief Antonio Guterres has urged Sudan and South Sudan to reach an agreement on the disputed Abyei region for the UN Mission there to end its mandate.

The oil-rich border region of Abyei has been contested since South Sudan gained independence in 2011.

The United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei—UNISFA was deployed after deadly clashes displaced some 100,000 people.

The force has been stationed there pending determination of the final status of the region. It is jointly administered by the Presidency of the two countries.

In a recent letter to the UN Security Council, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it up to the two countries to decide on the status of the region.

“A longer-term and more sustainable solution in Abyei, resulting in a safe and complete drawdown of UNISFA, would need… good neighborly relations between Sudan and South Sudan and the parties reaching an agreement on the final status of the Abyei area with the support of the region, the African Union and the United Nations.” Mr. Guterres said.

He further called on all partners to assist both Sudan and South Sudan to resolve their outstanding issues, particularly to settle the final status of Abyei.

His comments come in the wake of recent tension between Ethiopia and Sudan over border disputes.

This week, the Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Mariam al-Mahdi said her country wants another force to be deployed in Abyei.

But the Deputy Chief Administrator of Abyei, Kon Manyieth told Eye Radio that South Sudan must be consulted on the matter before it is presented to the UN.

South Sudan says the departure of the UN mission can be considered only after the final status of the region is decided.

However, the UN chief said the move would have significant consequences on the stability in Abyei, as well as serious implications for the relations between Sudan and South Sudan.

In a letter obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, the UN boss told the Security Council that he could not provide options to reduce and terminate the nearly 3,700-strong peacekeeping force because of differences between the two countries.

Via Eyeradio


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