Resolution 2251 (2015) Demands Withdrawal of Armed Personnel from Contested Area
The Security Council today extended until 15 May 2016 the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping operation for the disputed Abyei area bordering Sudan and South Sudan.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2251 (2015) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council also extended the tasks of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) until the same date, determining that support for the operational activities of the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism would include the Ad Hoc Committees, as appropriate.
Also by the text, the Council decided to maintain the troops authorized and already deployed under resolution 2104 (2013), and that the remaining authorized forces would continue to be deployed depending on the evolution of the Mechanism. It expressed regret that another meeting of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee had not taken place and urged the swift resumption of regular meetings to ensure steady progress on implementation of the 20 June 2011 Agreement.
In that context, the Council condemned the intermittent presence of South Sudan security service personnel and the deployment of Diffra Oil Police units in the Abyei area, in violation of the 2011 Agreement, as well as the entry of armed militias into that territory, reiterating its demands that South Sudan “immediately and without preconditions” redeploy its security services and Oil Police from those areas.
Underscoring that the Mission’s civilian-protection mandate included taking necessary actions to protect those under imminent threat of physical violence, irrespective of its source, the Council urged the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to take immediate steps to implement confidence-building measures among communities in the Abyei area, including through grass-roots reconciliation processes.
Further, it called upon all parties to cooperate with the recommendations following the Abyei Area Joint Investigation and Inquiry Committee’s investigation into the killing of a UNISFA peacekeeper and the Ngok Dinka Paramount Chief. The Council demanded that Sudan and South Sudan continue to facilitate the deployment of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and that all parties involved allow humanitarian personnel full, safe and unhindered access to civilians in need.
Omer Dahab Fadl Mohamed (Sudan) took the floor after the adoption, noting that today’s resolution stressed the importance of the 20 June Agreement between his country and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) on temporary arrangements for the administration and security of the Abyei area. It also stressed that Abyei’s final status could be determined only through dialogue between the two parties. It emphasized the importance of full implementation of: the 29 June 2011 Agreement between Sudan and South Sudan on border security and the Joint Political and Security Mechanism; the 30 July 2011 Agreement on the Border Monitoring Support Mission; and the 27 September 2012 agreements on cooperation and security arrangements. Those accords were mutually reinforcing and should be implemented without selectivity, he said, adding that Sudan was committed to implementing them.
The best way to create an environment conducive to peace was by establishing the Temporary Administration, the Abyei Police Service and the Abyei Legislative Council, he said, adding that, if put in place, they would fill any security or administrative vacuums while boosting peaceful coexistence between the Misseriya and the Ngok Dinka peoples. Until the final status of Abyei was determined, the area was part and parcel of Sudan’s territory, he said, emphasizing that the reference to UNISFA’s civilian head in paragraph 15 of the text adopted today was in stark contradiction to paragraph 41 of the Secretary-General’s report on Abyei (document S/2015/870). Sudan categorically rejected it, he stressed, calling upon the Council to reconsider that issue. Sudan also had reservations about a new phrase in preambular paragraph 7 regarding human rights monitoring and reporting. He noted with appreciation, however, that the resolution again stressed concern about the unilateral referendum held by the Ngok Dinka, and reaffirmed Sudan’s commitment to a negotiated settlement of Abyei’s status. In that context, he underlined the “excellent relations” between Sudan and South Sudan, which were interwoven in their deep historical bonds.
The meeting began at 10:09 a.m. and ended at 10:18 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2251 (2015) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions and its presidential statements on the situation in Sudan and South Sudan, and in particular, resolutions 1990 (2011), 2024 (2011), 2032 (2011), 2046 (2012), 2047 (2012), 2075 (2012), 2104 (2013), 2126 (2013), 2156 (2014), 2179 (2014), 2205 (2015), and 2230 (2015) as well as presidential statements S/PRST/2012/19 and S/PRST/2013/14, and the Council’s press statements of 18 June 2012, 21 September 2012, 28 September 2012, 6 May 2013, 14 June 2013, 14 February 2014, 17 March 2014 and 11 December 2014,
“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Sudan and South Sudan, and to the purposes and the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and recalling the importance of the principles of good neighbourliness, non-interference and regional cooperation,
“Reiterating that the territorial boundaries of States shall not be altered by force, and that any territorial disputes shall be settled exclusively by peaceful means, affirming the priority it attaches to the full and urgent implementation of all outstanding issues from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), and underscoring that the future status of Abyei shall be resolved by negotiations between the parties in a manner consistent with the CPA and not by the unilateral actions of either party,
“Recalling the commitments made by the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan in the 20 June 2011 Agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement on Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area, the 29 June 2011 Agreement between the Government of the Sudan and the Government of South Sudan on Border Security and the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM), and the 30 July 2011 Agreement on the Border Monitoring Support Mission between the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan, as well as the 27 September 2012 Agreements on Cooperation and Security Arrangements, the JPSM’s 8 March 2013 decision, and the Implementation Matrix of 12 March 2013, reached by the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan in Addis Ababa under the auspices of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), as well as the extraordinary meeting of the JPSM 13-14 October 2015,
“Expressing its full support for the efforts of the African Union on the situation between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan, in order to ease the current tension, facilitate the resumption of negotiations on post-secession relations and the normalization of their relations, recalling in this regard the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) communiqués of 24 April 2012, 24 October 2012, 25 January 2013, 7 May 2013, 29 July 2013, 23 September 2013, 26 October 2013, 12 November 2013, 12 September 2014, 31 July 2015, and 25 August 2015; the AUPSC press statements of 6 November 2013 and 24 March 2015; and the statement from the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on 28 October 2013 and the 24 June 2015 and 14 October 2015 statements from the African Union Commission,
“Reaffirming its previous resolutions 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), 1674 (2006), 1738 (2006), 1894 (2009) 2175 (2014) and 2222 (2015) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict; 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009), 1998 (2011), 2068 (2012), 2143 (2014) and 2223 (2015) on children and armed conflict; 1502 (2003) on the protection of humanitarian and United Nations personnel; and 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013), 2122 (2013), and 2242 (2015) on women peace and security,
“Stressing the need for effective human rights monitoring and reporting, including of any sexual and gender-based violence and violations and abuses committed against women and children, taking note that there have been no developments with regard to the operationalization of human rights monitoring in the Abyei Area, and reiterating its concern at the lack of cooperation by the parties with the Secretary-General to this end,
“Recalling that its resolution 2086 (2013) reiterates the importance, when establishing and renewing the mandates of United Nations Missions, of including provisions on the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women in post-conflict situations and on children and armed conflict, and emphasizing that persistent barriers to full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), and subsequent resolutions on Women, Peace, and Security, including 2242 (2015), will only be dismantled through dedicated commitment to women’s empowerment, participation, and human rights, and through concerted leadership, consistent information and action, and support, to build women’s engagement in all levels of decision-making,
“Acknowledging the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan’s acceptance at the 13-14 October 2015 JPSM meeting of the map presented by the AUHIP in November 2011 relating to the SDBZ, their agreement that the centreline is only the location of the separation line between armed forces, as well as the Parties’ agreement to activate all mechanisms relating to the JPSM as provided for in relevant agreements, and encouraging the parties to delineate or agree on the coordinates of, and demilitarize the SDBZ, including the “14 Mile Area”, and to fully implement the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM), in accordance with Security Council resolution 2046 (2012) and the AUPSC Roadmap of 24 April 2012, and underlining the importance of fully establishing and maintaining effective JBVMM monitoring of the SDBZ, including the “14 Mile Area”, and further urging the parties to cooperate in allowing the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) to fulfil its responsibility to provide security for the JBVMM’s mission to monitor the SDBZ,
“Noting with concern the absence of local institutions to manage the Abyei Area, lack of progress in convening an Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) meeting since March 2015 and lack of progress in convening a meeting of Misseriya and Ngok Dinka leaders,
“Recognizing the importance of regular dialogue between the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan, recalling the United Nations Security Council decision in resolution 2046 (2012) that the parties must resume immediately negotiations to reach agreement on Abyei final status under the auspices of the AUHIP, calling upon all parties to engage constructively in the process mediated by the AUHIP towards final agreement on the final status of the Abyei Area, and stressing that the parties must immediately implement pending aspects of the 20 June 2011 Agreement, in particular to resolve the dispute over the Abyei Area Agreement, and to resolve the dispute over the Abyei Area Council, and immediately establish the Abyei Area Administration and Abyei Police Service,
“Stressing that both countries and communities will have much to gain if they show restraint and choose the path of dialogue instead of resorting to violence or provocations,
“Commending the continued assistance provided to the parties by the AUHIP, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan, and the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA),
“Further commending the efforts of UNISFA in effectively carrying out its mandate, including by its ongoing facilitation of peaceful migration throughout the Abyei Area, conflict prevention, mediation and deterrence, and expressing its deep appreciation for the work of the troop-contributing countries, and strongly underscoring the unacceptability of any attack on UN personnel, including the 26 November attack that resulted in the death of a peacekeeper, and reiterating that such attacks should be swiftly and thoroughly investigated, and that those responsible should be held to account,
“Taking note of the security situation in the Abyei Area as characterized by the 11 September 2015 and 13 November 2015 Secretary-General’s reports (S/2015/700 and S/2015/870), and acknowledging UNISFA’s contribution to enhanced peace and stability since its deployment and expressing its determination to prevent the recurrence of violence against or displacements of civilians and to avert intercommunal conflict,
“Reiterating its deep concern regarding the public administration and rule of law vacuum in the Abyei Area, due to continued delays in the establishment of the Abyei Area Administration Council and Police, including a special unit to deal with particular issues related to nomadic migration, which are essential to maintain law and order and prevent intercommunal conflict in Abyei, and in this regard, welcoming UNISFA’s efforts to support and strengthen community protection committees, and to continue engaging with both Governments on this issue,
“Noting with concern the continued delay in establishing the temporary institutions and resolving the final status of Abyei and that the continued threat of intercommunal violence contributes to heightened tensions in the Abyei Area, including those ongoing tensions that prevent UNISFA’s and other agencies’ Sudanese staff from returning to Abyei,
“Urging all parties to refrain from any unilateral action that could aggravate intercommunal relations within the Abyei Area, expressing concern over the continued implications of what the AUPSC described in their 6 November 2013 press statement as “the decision by the Ngok Dinka to conduct a unilateral referendum” and also in this context, taking note that the Government of Sudan proceeded with its April 2015 national elections in Abyei,
“Taking note of the information in the 13 November 2015 Secretary-General’s report (S/2015/870) regarding continued earthwork excavation in Diffra,
“Bearing in mind the current humanitarian situation in which humanitarian actors continue to provide assistance to over 89,000 people in the Abyei Area and the importance of coherence of United Nations assistance in the region, and further stressing the urgency of facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all affected populations,
“Affirming the importance of voluntary, safe, dignified return and sustainable reintegration of displaced persons, and of peaceful and orderly migration cycles respecting the traditional migratory routes from Sudan to South Sudan through Abyei, and urging UNISFA to continue to take measures as necessary to ensure security in the Abyei Area in accordance with its mandate,
“Recalling its resolution 2117 (2013), and expressing grave concern at the threat to peace and security in Abyei arising from the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons, and in this regard, welcoming UNISFA’s progress on completing infrastructure, systems, and policy for weapons confiscation, storage and destruction,
“Expressing concern about the residual threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war in the Abyei Area, which hinders the safe return of displaced persons to their homes, safe migration, and livelihood activities,
“Taking note of the 11 September 2015 and 13 November 2015 Secretary-General’s reports (S/2015/700 and S/2015/870), including the hope that the momentum for dialogue between the two Governments can revive implementation of the 20 June 2011 Abyei Agreement and translate into a sustainable improvement of border security, and the recommendations contained therein,
“Recognizing that the current situation in Abyei and along the border between the Sudan and South Sudan continues to constitute a serious threat to international peace and security,
“1. Decides to extend until 15 May 2016 the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) as set out in paragraph 2 of resolution 1990 (2011) and modified by resolution 2024 (2011) and paragraph 1 of resolution 2075 (2012), and acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, further decides to extend until 15 May 2016 the tasks of UNISFA as set out in paragraph 3 of resolution 1990 (2011), and determines that for the purposes of paragraph 1 of resolution 2024 (2011), support to the operational activities of the JBVMM shall include support to the Ad Hoc Committees, as appropriate when so requested by consensual decisions of these mechanisms, within UNISFA’s operational area and existing capabilities;
“2. Takes note of the stated intention by both sides to hold another AJOC meeting, regrets the meeting has not yet taken place, and urges the swift resumption of regular meetings to ensure steady progress on the implementation of the 20 June 2011 Agreement, including the implementation of the AJOC decisions, welcomes African Union initiatives to support this goal and encourages its continued engagement, and requests the Secretary-General to provide an assessment of progress on these issues in his regular reports;
“3. Underscores that continued cooperation between the Government of Sudan and Government of South Sudan is also critical for peace, security and stability and the future relations between them;
“4. Further reiterates its demand that Sudan and South Sudan urgently commence the establishment of the Abyei Area Administration and Council, including by resolving the deadlock over the composition of the Council, and constitute the Abyei Police Service, to enable it to take over policing functions throughout the Abyei Area, including the protection of oil infrastructure, in accordance with their commitments in the 20 June 2011 Agreement;
“5. Expresses renewed concern regarding the delays and stalled efforts to fully operationalize the JBVMM, takes note of the Secretary-General’s benchmarks and recommendations regarding JBVMM operations, takes note that continued investment in achieving full operational capability of the JBVMM should be based on a set of conditions, including resolution of the dispute over the SDBZ, resumption of border demarcation discussions, occurrence of regular meetings of the JPSM, and granting of full freedom of movement, and calls on both parties to demonstrate full commitment to implementation of their border arrangements and take the necessary steps to this effect, including by swiftly holding a new meeting of the JPSM to take the operational decisions related to their agreement on the SDBZ;
“6. Decides to maintain the troops authorized by resolution 2104 (2013) already deployed, and that the remaining authorized forces continue to be deployed dependent on the evolution of the JBVMM, to enable UNISFA to provide required force protection to the JBVMM and to enable UNISFA to fully support the JBVMM to conduct extended operations into the SDBZ as soon as possible, and requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council fully updated on the status of deployment as part of his regular reporting cycle;
“7. Calls upon the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan to make timely and effective use of the JBVMM, JPSM and other agreed joint mechanisms to ensure the security and transparency of the SDBZ, including the “14 Mile Area”;
“8. Urges renewed efforts to determine conclusively the SDBZ centreline on the ground, and reiterates that the centreline of the SDBZ in no way prejudices the current or future legal status of the border, ongoing negotiations on the disputed and claimed areas, and demarcation of the borders;
“9. Underscores that UNISFA’s protection of civilians mandate as set out in paragraph 3 of resolution 1990 (2011) includes taking the necessary actions to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, irrespective of the source of such violence;
“10. Condemns the intermittent presence of South Sudan security service personnel and the deployment of Diffra Oil Police units in the Abyei Area, in violation of the 20 June 2011 agreement, as well as any entry of armed militias into the territory, and reiterates its demands that immediately and without preconditions the Government of South Sudan fully redeploy its security service personnel from the Abyei Area and that the Government of Sudan redeploy the Oil Police in Diffra from the Abyei Area, and further reiterates, in accordance with relevant resolutions, in particular resolution 1990 (2011) and resolution 2046 (2012), 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 Service;
“11. Supports the AJOC’s 3 May 2013 and 30 March 2015 decisions on Abyei’s status as a weapons-free area, underscores the AUPSC’s concern in its 7 May 2013 Communiqué over reports that various communities living in Abyei are heavily armed, recalls that the 20 June 2011 Agreement on Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area stipulates that Abyei should be a weapons-free area and that only UNISFA is authorized to carry weapons inside the area, and in this regard, urges the two Governments to take all necessary steps to ensure that Abyei is effectively demilitarized, including through disarmament programs as necessary;
“12. Reaffirms that UNISFA may undertake weapons confiscation and destruction in the Abyei Area as authorized under resolution 1990 (2011), consistent with its mandate and within its existing capabilities, in coordination with the signatories of the June 2011 Agreement on the Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area, the AJOC, and the Misseriya and Ngok Dinka communities and consistent with the previous AJOC decision to establish the Area as a “weapons free area”, and reiterates its request that UNISFA, observe, document and report on the movement of weapons into Abyei and the presence, destruction and confiscation of weapons within Abyei as part of the Secretary-General’s regular reporting cycle;
“13. Requests UNISFA to continue its dialogue with the AJOC and with the Misseriya and Ngok Dinka communities on effective strategies and oversight mechanisms for ensuring full compliance by all relevant parties with Abyei’s status as a weapons-free area, with a particular priority placed on the urgent elimination of heavy or crew-served weapons, as well as rocket-propelled grenades, and calls upon the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan, the AJOC, and the Misseriya and Ngok Dinka communities to extend full cooperation to UNISFA in this regard;
“14. Urges the two Governments immediately to take steps to implement confidence-building measures among the respective communities in the Abyei Area, including through reconciliation processes at the grass-roots level and supporting UNISFA in promoting community dialogue, urges the planned convening of a meeting between the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya traditional leaders, and strongly urges all Abyei communities to exercise maximum restraint in all their engagements and to desist from inflammatory acts or statements that may lead to violent clashes;
“15. Welcomes UNISFA initiatives, under the leadership of Mr. Haile Tilahun Gebremariam, to support community dialogue and efforts by the Misseriya and Ngok Dinka communities to strengthen intercommunal relationships and facilitate stability and reconciliation in the Abyei Area, including the 17-19 September conference in Aweil, South Sudan, and the 7 October joint meeting at Todach, and encourages the parties to move forward with organizing the traditional leaders’ reconciliation meeting per the resolution of the AJOC meeting of 29-30 March 2015;
“16. Welcomes UNISFA’s continued efforts, within existing capabilities and resources and, in close coordination with the Misseriya and Ngok Dinka communities, to strengthen the capacities of Community Protection Committees in order to assist with management of law and order processes in Abyei and to continue engaging with both Governments on this issue;
“17. Calls upon all parties to cooperate fully with the findings and recommendations following the Abyei Area Joint Investigation and Inquiry Committee’s investigation into the killing of a UNISFA peacekeeper and the Ngok Dinka Paramount Chief, welcomes the 24 March 2015 AUPSC press statement requesting the AU Commission to engage the parties on the findings and recommendations, and reiterates the need to enable the two communities to find closure on the assassination of the Ngok Dinka Paramount Chief, bearing in mind the need to promote stability and reconciliation in the Abyei Area;
“18. Expresses its intention to review as appropriate the mandate of UNISFA for possible reconfiguration of the force in light of the compliance by Sudan and South Sudan with the decisions set forth in resolution 2046 (2012) and their commitments as set forth in the Agreements of 20 June, 29 June, 30 July 2011 and 27 September 2012, including the redeployment of all forces from the SDBZ, achieving full operational capability for the JVBMM, and the Ad Hoc Committees, as well as completing the full demilitarization of the Abyei Area;
“19. Calls upon all Member States, in particular Sudan and South Sudan, to ensure the free, unhindered and expeditious movement, to and from Abyei and throughout the SDBZ, of all personnel, as well as equipment, provisions, supplies and other goods, including vehicles, aircraft, and spare parts, which are for the exclusive and official use of UNISFA;
“20. Renews its call upon the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to provide full support to the United Nations, including by promptly issuing visas to military, police and civilian United Nations personnel, including humanitarian personnel, without prejudice to their nationality, for entry into Sudan and South Sudan, facilitating basing arrangements, infrastructure construction in the Mission Area and flight clearances, and providing logistical support, calls upon the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to facilitate travel from within Sudan and South Sudan to and from Abyei, and further calls upon all parties to fully adhere to their obligations under the Status of Forces Agreements;
“21. Recognizes that the absence of development projects and the inability to deliver basic government services has had an adverse effect on Abyei populations and calls upon the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan, as well as donors to support reconstruction and capacity-building;
“22. Demands that the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan continue to facilitate the deployment of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) to ensure JBVMM freedom of movement, as well as the identification and clearance of mines in the Abyei Area and SDBZ;
“23. Further demands that all parties involved allow all humanitarian personnel full, safe and unhindered access to civilians in need of assistance and all necessary facilities for their operations, in accordance with international law, including applicable international humanitarian law, and United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance;
“24. Strongly urges that all parties cease all forms of violence, human rights violations and abuses, violations of international humanitarian law, and violations and abuses against children in violation of applicable international law;
“25. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure that effective human rights monitoring is carried out, and the results included in his reports to the Council, and reiterates its call upon the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan to extend their full cooperation to the Secretary-General to this end, including by issuing visas to the concerned United Nations personnel;
“26. Requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures to ensure full compliance of UNISFA with the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to keep the Council informed if cases of such conduct occur;
“27. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to inform the Council of progress in implementing UNISFA’s mandate in one written report, no later than 15 April 2016, and continue to bring to the Council’s immediate attention any serious violations of the above referenced Agreements;
“28. Notes the Secretary-General’s efforts to ensure close cooperation among United Nations missions in the region, including UNISFA, the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), and the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), as well as his Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, and requests that he continue this practice;
“29. Decides to remain actively seized of this matter.”
* The 7579th Meeting was closed.