Security Council Extends Mandate of United Nations Interim Force for Abyei by 6 Months, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2352 (2017)

SC/12822
15 May 2017
7939th Meeting (Night)

Security Council Extends Mandate of United Nations Interim Force for Abyei by 6 Months, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2352 (2017)

Sudan, South Sudan Cautioned that Ending Support for Border Verification Mechanism Will Be Cost of Failure to Uphold Obligations

The Security Council today decided to extend until 15 November 2017 the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force for Abyei (UNISFA) — including its tasks in support of the disputed territory’s Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism — while warning that that support would be withdrawn unless Sudan and South Sudan complied fully with their obligations.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2352 (2017), the Council also decided to reduce UNISFA’s authorized troop ceiling from 5,326 to 4,791, marking the first change in the Force’s troop levels since 2013.  Further by the text, it urged the two sides to resume direct negotiations in order to agree on a final settlement of the Abyei question.

Expressing renewed concerns about persistent delays and stalled efforts to make the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism fully operational — as required under Council resolution 2046 (2012) and the African Union Peace and Security Roadmap — the Council also extended UNISFA’s mandated support of the Mechanism, while deciding that the extension would be the last unless both parties demonstrated “clear commitment and steadfast guarantees” of implementation.

Speaking after the adoption, Council members drew attention to various elements of the two reports before it — namely, a Secretary-General’s report on the situation in Abyei (document S/2017/312) and a Special Report of the Secretary-General on the review of UNISFA’s mandate (document S/2017/293) — with many speakers welcoming the resolution’s unanimous adoption as a strong signal of the Council’s unity.  More broadly, some delegates emphasized the need to keep the mandates of United Nations peace operations under constant review in order to ensure their effectiveness, efficiency and appropriateness, noting that today’s text had successfully struck that delicate balance.

In that regard, the representative of the United States, the resolution’s sponsor, emphasized: “Five years of obstacles to deployment […] is enough,” in reference to the unfulfilled task of making the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism operational.  “The status quo must be questioned when the status quo is not working.”

Ethiopia’s representative, pointing out that his country was the only one contributing troops to UNISFA, recalled that a meeting of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism held in Addis Ababa yesterday under African Union auspices had outlined the specific steps to be taken by the two sides over the coming months, and expressed hope that when the Council met again in six months, “we will have tangible progress”.

Also speaking were representatives of Italy (also for Sweden), Russian Federation, Japan, Egypt, China, United Kingdom, Senegal, France, Uruguay, Sudan and South Sudan.

The meeting began at 7:03 p.m. and ended at 7:52 p.m.

Statements

MICHELE J. SISON (United States) described the adoption as “the right decision” because UNISFA provided critical security for the Abyei area and helped communities there mitigate violence.  Agreeing with the Secretary-General’s assessment that Abyei constituted a political problem requiring a political solution, she said the Council should always take into account whether a particular peacekeeping mission actively supported a political solution.  Regrettably, the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan had consistently been lacking in commitment to engage in the work needed to reach a resolution of the Abyei matter and to establish interim measures, she emphasized, pointing out that, instead, they continued to place restrictions on the mission’s work, including tasks added to its mandate in support of the Joint Border Verification Monitoring Mechanism.  While UNISFA had done its part in that regard, Sudan and South Sudan had yet to take the steps necessary to make the Mechanism fully operational.  “Five years of obstacles to deployment […] is enough,” she said, underlining that the text adopted today made clear that the extension of UNISFA’s tasks relating to the Joint Border Verification Monitoring Mechanism would be the last unless both parties demonstrated their will to make the Mechanism fully operational.  “The status quo must be questioned when the status quo is not working,” she emphasized, urging both sides to pursue a reinvigorated political process that would lead to a permanent solution on Abyei’s status.

TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia), pointing out that his country was the only one contributing troops to the “unique” UNISFA operation, addressed the main sticking point in the negotiations over the text — the stalemate over the Joint Border Verification Monitoring Mechanism.  “We all know the reason,” he said, while emphasizing that both sides must now take the necessary steps towards making the Mechanism fully operational.  Recalling that a meeting of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism held yesterday under the auspices of the African Union in Addis Ababa had outlined the specific steps to be taken in that regard over the coming months, he expressed hope that when the Council met again in six months, “we will have tangible progress”.  The parties should also endeavour to unlock some of the issues hindering the establishment of a civilian administration, with a view to full implementation of their 2011 commitments, he said.

SEBASTIANO CARDI (Italy), speaking also for Sweden, said the unanimous adoption sent a strong sign of the Council’s unity on the matter of Abyei.  Echoing the concerns voiced by the representative of the United States on improving the effectiveness of peacekeeping missions, he emphasized that “renewing a mandate should never be seen as business as usual”.  In the present case, the Council had found a balanced solution that would lead to more efficient peacekeeping while also effectively supporting peace efforts, he said.  The stalemate over Abyei had dragged on for too long, he noted, expressing satisfaction that the resolution called on both sides to demonstrate their commitment to the Joint Border Verification Monitoring Mechanism, or else the United Nations would withdraw its support for it.

PETR V. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) said a full halt of support appeared illogical, not just in Abyei but in the wider region, and expressed hope that Sudan and South Sudan would consider the need to activate the mechanisms for Abyei in order to make progress towards a political settlement.  Noting that the resolution had been adopted unanimously, he said that was a reflection of the views of regional leaders, not only limited financial concerns.  While questions remained about the penholders’ methods, the Russian Federation supported UNISFA and welcomed Ethiopia as the troop-contributing country bearing the primary burden for peace and stability in the region.

KORO BESSHO (Japan) said he had voted in favour of the resolution on the basis of the need to maintain relative calm and improve the functioning of the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism.  While encouraged by the grass roots dialogue between the Ngok Dinka and others, there was a lack of political progress to bolster those developments, he said.  The joint security mechanism was important in determining the final status of Abyei, as was the demarcation of safe demilitarized border zones.

AMR ABDELLATIF ABOULATTA (Egypt) said the resolution reflected Council unity and sent a clear message that it had a vision that it wished to implement.  The two parties should comply with that vision, he emphasized.  Egypt had voted in favour of the text to ensure a link between the strength and mandate of forces on the ground.  That approach should be followed in reviewing any mission, rather than seeking a gradual reduction in strength, which would affect its ability to carry out its mandate.  The needs of troop-contributing countries must also be considered when determining peacekeeping mandates, he emphasized.

ZHANG DIANBIN (China) said the text embodied the will of the Council, while taking the countries concerned and troop contributors such as Ethiopia into account.  He encouraged both sides to build confidence steadily, advance implementation of bilateral agreements and establish the relevant judicial institutions.

Mr. CLAY (United Kingdom) said the international community’s collective priority must now be to continue its support for Abyei’s stability and its political process.  While UNISFA was crucial in that regard, it was nevertheless right to keep the mission under close review.  Noting that the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism had effectively been unable to carry out its work over the last five years, he said today’s resolution made clear that UNISFA’s support for the Mechanism would end in six months’ time unless Sudan and South Sudan stepped up their efforts in that regard.

ABDOULAYE BARRO (Senegal) said the unanimous adoption was underpinned by the Council’s wish to “stand side by side” with the two sides in their search for a lasting peace.  In that context, he appealed to the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to reach agreement on border security and on the establishment of a transitional administration, and to avoid escalating tensions that could threaten those goals.  The Council must also continue to engage in a “dynamic and constructive dialogue” with troop-contributing countries.

ANNE GUEGUEN (France) echoed assertions that it was crucial to continue to evaluate the appropriateness of peacekeeping missions with respect to their mandates.  Noting that the relationship between Sudan and South Sudan were, first and foremost, in the hands of those two parties, she voiced support for the resolution’s call on them to make progress in improving their relations.  Describing the recent meeting of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism in Addis Ababa as a welcome development, she voiced hope that the commitments undertaken by both parties would be fully implemented.

ELBIO ROSSELLI (Uruguay), Council President for May, spoke in his national capacity, noting that the compromise text adopted today would represent the last extension of UNISFA support for the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism unless both parties committed fully to making it operational.  “The future of this peacekeeping mission is now exclusively in the hands of the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan,” he declared.

MAGDI AHMED MOFADAL ELNOUR (Sudan) said that significant progress had been made towards improving relations between the Messeriya and the Ngok Dinka, thanks to efforts by the Government, society and the mission.  On the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism, he declared:  “We have never restricted the movement of this Mechanism.”  The Secretary-General’s recent report noted that the Mechanism had cancelled 18 air patrols due to delayed approval by South Sudan, which showed that Sudan had cooperated fully, contrary to the actions of the other party, he said, adding that Mechanism was needed to ensure peace along the border and to normalize relations between the two countries.

He went on to state that he could not understand why UNISFA would stop supporting the Mechanism and pressed South Sudan to honour its commitment to the creation of a safe border zone, and the removal of obstacles to the Mechanism’s work.  Sudan was committed to implementing the decisions of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism, including those made today in Addis Ababa on activating the Mechanism, creating additional team sites and implementing the agreement on security arrangements, he said.  Calling upon South Sudan to engage with his country and the African Union in creating the bodies to determine the final status of Abyei, he emphasized that until then, Abyei remained a Sudanese area.  Sudan had full sovereignty, according to both the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague, and the Peace Agreement, which could not be altered without a referendum or another mutually agreed measure, he emphasized.

Peace and security could only be achieved by implementing the temporary arrangement for the administration of Abyei and all provisions in the 2012 cooperation agreement, he continued.  Recalling that the 2011 Agreement provided for joint administration, a legislative council and a service to determine Abyei’s final status in a manner that would meet the aspirations of all concerned, he said it also laid the foundations for normalizing relations and ensuring cooperation in all areas, including security arrangements and the creation of a safe demilitarized border zone.  However, South Sudan continued to harbour insurgent movements in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur, he said, pressing that country’s Government to implement security arrangements.  The deployment of a police unit to the Diffra oil field was the result of failure to create joint police services for Abyei and of the formation of insurgent groups that would attack that oil field.

JOSEPH MOUM MALOK (South Sudan) said “UNISFA is the best thing that has happened to Abyei in its long history of struggle.”  Notable progress had been made in promoting peace and security in Abyei, in fostering reconciliation and cooperation among communities that converged seasonally in the area, and in delivering social services, humanitarian assistance and socioeconomic programmes.  Cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan was critical to any productive effort in Abyei and much more would be needed if UNISFA’s efforts were to continue to bear fruit.  The withdrawal of support for the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism would negatively impact the cooperation agreement between South Sudan and Sudan, emboldening each side to take a more combative posture along the border, he cautioned, pointing out that ceasing support could lead to proxy fights.

He expressed hope that recently improved relations would develop into greater cooperation in areas of mutual interest, noting that Abeyi could foster cordial ties by building on grass-roots intercommunal cooperation, which could extend to the national level.  The search for a final solution to the Abyei problem had stalled due to differences between the two Governments, despite tireless efforts by the African Union High-level Implementation Panel, he said.  The people of Abyei and neighbouring communities from both the North and South, who migrated to the areas seasonally in search of water and pastures, could not be abandoned to suffer in a vacuum of State responsibility.  He called upon the international community to fill that vacuum, declaring:  “This is urgently needed to stabilize the situation in the area and create a conducive environment for a more constructive and fruitful dialogue on the future of Abyei.”

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2352 (2017) 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), 2230 (2015), 2251 (2015), 2287 (2016), and 2318 (2016) 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, 11 December 2014, and 27 November 2015,

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 on 13-14 October 2015 and the ordinary session of the JPSM on 5 June 2016,

Encouraging progress on improving bilateral relations between Sudan and South Sudan, and stressing the need for regular meetings of the JPSM and other joint mechanisms, including the Joint Border Commission and Joint Demarcation Committee, to enable dialogue and coordination on matters of border security,

Urging the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to reinvigorate progress towards implementing the Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area as set out in the 20 June 2011 Agreement,

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, and stressing the importance of the African Union’s continued engagement,

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 Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (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 fulfill its responsibility to provide security for the JBVMM’s mission to monitor the SDBZ,

Regretting the lack of significant progress made by both parties on the benchmarks for the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) and the unnecessary impediments imposed upon the JBVMM, reducing its ability to effectively monitor the SDBZ,

Noting with concern the absence of local institutions to manage the Abyei Area and lack of progress in convening an Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) meeting since March 2015,

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 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 United Nations personnel, including the firing on UNISFA patrols in early 2017 by unknown assailants, 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 April 2017 Secretary-General’s report (S/2017/312), 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 and 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,

Bearing in mind the current humanitarian situation in which humanitarian actors continue to provide assistance to 160,000 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, welcoming the completion of infrastructure, systems, and policy for weapons confiscation, storage and destruction, and calling on UNISFA to ensure adequate protection of this infrastructure,

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 5 April 2017 and 11 April 2017 Secretary-General’s reports (S/2017/293 and S/2017/312), including the Secretary-General’s call on the parties to renew efforts to address the issues that have remained unresolved, implement the 20 June 2011 Abyei Agreement and remove all operational obstacles faced by UNISFA,

Recalling that the Security Council welcomed in resolution 2205 (2015) the decision of the Secretary-General to appoint a civilian head of mission,

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 November 2017 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 November 2017 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.   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;

“3.   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;

“4.   Urges the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to resume direct negotiations in order to urgently agree on a final settlement of the Abyei question, calls upon the parties to take concrete confidence-building measures to contribute to achieving this objective with renewed support from the AUHIP, encourages the AUHIP and the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to continue coordinating efforts towards calling for full implementation of the 2011 agreements, and requests the Secretary-General to brief on progress in that regard by 15 August 2017;

“5.   Regrets that an AJOC meeting has not yet taken place, and urges the implementation of previous AJOC decisions and the 20 June 2011 Agreement, recalls the need for African Union initiatives to support this goal and encourages its renewed engagement, and requests the Secretary-General to provide an assessment of progress on these issues in his regular reports;

“6.   Expresses renewed concern regarding the delays and stalled efforts to fully operationalize the JBVMM, recalls 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, and 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”;

“7.   Calls on both parties to uphold their commitments in the Agreement on the Border Monitoring Support Mission of 30 July 2011, including 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 follow up to the 5 June 2016 meeting and by swiftly holding a further meeting of the JPSM to take the operational decisions related to their agreement on the SDBZ;

“8.   Decides that this extension of the mandate modification set forth in resolution 2024 (2011) shall be the final such extension unless both parties demonstrate through their actions clear commitment and steadfast guarantees for implementation of the JBVMM, in line with the steps outlined in paragraph 7, and requests the Secretary-General to report on the status of whether the mechanism has reached full operating capability by 15 October 2017;

“9.   Decides to decrease the authorized troop ceiling to 4,791 and requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council fully updated on the status of deployment as part of his regular reporting cycle;

10.  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;

“11.  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, and commending UNISFA’s efforts in that regard;

“12.  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;

“13.  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;

“14.  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;

“15.  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;

“16.  Urges the two Governments immediately to take steps to implement confidence-building measures among the respective communities in the Abyei Area, ensuring women are involved at all stages, including through reconciliation processes at the grass-roots level as well as through support for the ongoing efforts of non-governmental organizations engaging in peacebuilding, and by fully supporting UNISFA’s efforts in promoting community dialogue, strongly welcomes continued engagement between the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya communities, 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;

“17.  Underscores that women’s participation at all levels of inter-community dialogue is critical to ensure a credible and legitimate process and calls upon all parties to promote full and equal participation of women;

“18.  Welcomes the positive developments at the grass-roots level between the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya communities, particularly their noted commitment to reconciliation and cooperation, as demonstrated by the resumption of trading activities and the monitoring of stolen property and livestock, including the prompt return of or provision of compensation for stolen property to victims of crime;

“19.  Welcomes UNISFA initiatives, to support community dialogue and efforts by the Misseriya and Ngok Dinka communities to strengthen inter-communal relationships and facilitate stability and reconciliation in the Abyei Area, including the facilitation of joint peace committee meetings between both communities and re-opening of a common market;

“20.  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;

“21.  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;

“22.  Expresses its intention to continue reviewing 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 JBVMM and the Ad Hoc Committees, as well as completing the full demilitarization of the Abyei Area;

“23.  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;

“24.  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;

“25.  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;

“26.  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;

“27.  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;

“28.  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;

“29.  Urges UNISFA to make rapid progress on deploying a Women and Child Protection Advisor;

“30.  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;

“31.  Recalls resolution 2272 (2016) and further 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 fully informed through his regular country-specific reports to the Council about UNISFA’s progress in this regard, including with respect to the implementation of resolution 2272 (2016);

“32.  Requests the Secretary-General to continue to inform the Council of progress in implementing UNISFA’s mandate in two written reports, no later than
31 July 2017 and 15 October 2017, and continue to bring to the Council’s immediate attention any serious violations of the above referenced Agreements;

“33.  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;

“34.  Decides to remain actively seized of this matter.”

For information media. Not an official record.