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Sudan renews commitment to support UNISFA

Ethiopian peacekeepers in Abyei on 14 August 2016 (UNISFA photo)

July 7, 2018 (KHARTOUM) Sudanese army chief of staff Lt. Gen. Kamal Abdel-Maarouf al-Mahi on Saturday has met the newly appointed commander of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) Maj. Gen. Gebre Adhana Woldezgu.

The two sides discussed UNISFA’s tasks in Abyei according to the provisions stipulated in the agreements signed among all parties.

During the meeting, al-Mahi stressed the need for cooperation, coordination and joint work among the concerned parties in Abyei to overcome all obstacles, underscoring Sudan’s commitment to support UNISFA to carry out its tasks.

For his part, Woldezgu underlined the Mission’s relentless efforts to create conditions conducive to the sustainability of peace in Abyei.

He pointed out to his meetings with officials in Khartoum and Juba besides leaders of Misseriya and Ngok Dinka communities in Abyei in order to seek solutions for the entire outstanding issues according to the Mission’s mandate.

Last April, UN Secretary-General António Guterres appointed the Ethiopian Major General Woldezgu as the new force commander of UNISFA succeeding his fellow citizen Tesfay Gidey Hailemichael who completed his assignment on 23 April.

Ownership of Abyei, a border region disputed by Sudan and South Sudan, remained contentious after the world’s youngest nation split from Sudan in 2011.

On 27 June 2011, the Security Council, by its resolution 1990, responded to the urgent situation in Abyei by establishing the UNISFA.

UNISFA’s establishment came after Sudan’s government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) reached an agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to demilitarise Abyei and let Ethiopian troops monitor the area.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) provides that the contested territory remains part of the north until the organisation of a referendum determines its fate.

(ST)