Press Release on Abyei
It seems that Council members are close to agreeing on a press statement requesting the redeployment of Sudanese and South Sudanese forces from the Abyei area. Apparently the press statement was circulated by the US yesterday (27 October) and most members are in agreement on the need to highlight the security challenges of the situation in Abyei. It seems that a number of members have been concerned about the complexity of the situation on the ground which has made it difficult for the Council to be proactive on a number of Sudan related issues.
Council members were last briefed on Abyei by Hervé Ladsous, Under-secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations on 6 and 11 October 2011, including on recommendations for the expansion of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) mandate. However, the security situation on the ground appeared to have made it difficult for the Council to take any action at that time.
It seems that the press statement makes it clear that the Sudan Armed Forces and the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army needed to redeploy any remaining forces immediately and without pre-condition. Apparently it also encourages UNISFA to increase its patrols and air mobility and to continue reporting to the Council. Other areas likely to be covered in the press statement include the need for both parties to finalise the establishment of the Abyei Area Administration.
Moreover, it seems that in the press statement Council members express their readiness to consider additional mandated tasks for UNISFA in support of the 30 July Agreement on Border Monitoring Support between Sudan and South Sudan. It appears possible that the Council may adjust the mandate of UNISFA in November, which would require it to adopt a resolution adding a border monitoring support role.