UNISFA mandate extended

The UN Security Council has once again extended the mandate for its interim forces in Abyei area for another six months.

Yesterday, the Council unanimously agreed to extend the peacekeeping mission until mid-November with a reduced number of troops.

The UN Interim Forces for Abyei area have been reduced to 4,500 from nearly 4,800.

The Council expressed disappointment at the unwillingness by South Sudan and Sudan to resolve the stalemate surrounding the disputed region.

The council in its most recent report was quick to add that the presence of unidentified armed groups, intercommunal violence, criminality and acts of violence near the Amiet common market continue to pose uncertainties in the region.

Earlier Sudan and South Sudan agreed to take steps for setting up an administrative structure for Abyei.

But the Council say so far few steps have been taken in that direction.

It noted that the security situation in Abyei remains relatively stable, but unpredictable in the absence of progress on establishing temporary arrangements for the administration and security of Abyei pending resolution of its final status.

The Security Council called on the two countries to act fast towards a political resolution.

UNISFA has been in Abyei since 2011.

The UN Secretary-General released a report in late April highlighting that the presence of UNISFA activities in Abyei has contributed to the relative stability and security of the disputed region.