UNISFA’s Mandate extended till November 2020


The United Nations Security Council has given the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) additional six months to continue carrying out its mandate in Abyei Administrative Area.

The decision was made in a meeting held on 14th May 2020.

The resolution 2519 (2020) called on Sudan and South Sudan to fully support by removing hindrance to peace and stability in the region.

The activities and the tasks of UNISFA remain the same as it will continue to implement chapter seven of UN mandate.

“ Decides to extend until 15 November 2020 the mandate of UNISFA as set out in paragraph 2 of resolution 1990 (2011) and acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, further decides to extend until 15 November 2020 the tasks of UNISFA as set out in paragraph 3 of resolution 1990 (2011), and further decides that UNISFA should continue to implement that mandate and tasks in accordance with resolution 2497 (2019),” reads the statement in part.

The council reiterated that Abyei shall be demilitarized from any armed forces including armed elements in the local communities.

Lives of civilians and properties have been lost in repeated armed attacks.

A month ago, four people were killed in Mabok village in Abyei and three others including two children went missing.
In January, armed Misseriya militias attacked ‘Kolom’ village in Abyei, killing more than 30 civilians including women and children. The assailants also burnt houses.

Some Ngok Dinka people organized a demonstration in Abyei town demanding for the replacement of the UNISFA’s troops with ones from various countries.

The community said Ethiopian troops were not doing enough to protect civilians and their properties. The mission Spokesperson said their demand would be forwarded to UN headquarters in New York for discussion.

Ngok Dinka people overwhelmingly voted 99.9 percent to become part of South Sudan, in a referendum they organized in 2013, but Khartoum and Juba did not recognize these results.

Despite non-approval, from the two governments, Ngok Dinka people and their special leadership, Abyei Administration Area did not give up on celebrating the results of their community referendum.

In October last year, during the sixth Anniversary of Abyei’s referendum, the Chief Administrator of Abyei Administrative Area, Kuol Alor Kuol called for the recognition of Abyei’s referendum results saying the people of Abyei have suffered enough.

What next?

The fate of Abyei Administrative Area is unclear as there are no any political steps taken to address the issue.

On 2nd May, the Holder of Abyei’s File, Deng Alor Kuol said he was optimistic about finding a final solution to Abyei’s issue.

It is yet to be known whether another referendum is going to be held.