What's In Blue

Posted Tue 26 Jul 2011

The UN Force in Abyei

The Council is expected to hear its first scheduled briefing from the head of UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), Alain Le Roy, on the UN Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) this week, perhaps tomorrow, 27 July. Council members are likely to follow the briefing with consultations.

While it is expected that the Secretary-General’s report that will form the basis of the briefing should go to Council members today, there is a chance that the Council could request to delay the briefing to allow members to consider the report to better inform their discussions in consultations.

The briefing is expected to focus on implementation of the agreement signed on 20 June between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement on temporary arrangements for the administration and security of the Abyei area.

Council members seem particularly interested in whether the beginning of UNISFA’s deployment has resulted in any withdrawal of Sudanese armed forces from the area, as agreed. Likewise Council members appear interested in hearing about progress on establishing the temporary administrative arrangements outlined in the agreement.

Also, it can be expected that Council members will also be interested in the pace of deployment of the Ethiopian contingent that comprises UNISFA.

The briefing is not likely to cover the possible role for UNISFA in providing force protection to a border monitoring mechanism agreed to by the governments of Sudan and South Sudan on 29 June. Representatives of the parties are next meeting on 29 July in Addis Ababa to discuss the modalities to implement this agreement.

UNISFA was established under resolution 1990 on 27 June.

Sign up for What's In Blue emails