Security Council extends UN peacekeeping force in Abyei through February 2015

The UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) is helping to keep the peace. Photo: IRIN/Hannah McNeish

14 October 2014 – The Security Council today extended the United Nations peacekeeping force in Abyei – a resource-rich area contested by Sudan and South Sudan – as part of the Organization’s ongoing efforts to maintain peace and protect civilians there.

The resolution was adopted by the 15-member body in a unanimous vote.

The mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) was extended until 28 February 2015. The force, set up by the Council in June 2011 following an outbreak of violence after Sudanese troops took control of the oil-rich area in the weeks before South Sudan became independent, is tasked with overseeing the demilitarization of the area and maintaining security.

Among other measures, the Council reiterated its demand that Sudan and South Sudan immediately resume the work of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) “to ensure steady progress” on the implementation of the June 2011 Agreement, which provides for temporary administrative arrangements for Abyei and the withdrawal of troops by both sides.

In addition, the Council also reiterated its demand that both Sudan and South Sudan “urgently commence” the establishment of the Abyei Area Administration and Council in order to form an Abyei Police Service with a mandate to take over policing functions in the area, including the protection of oil infrastructure.

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