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New UNISFA force commander arrives in Abyei

UNISFA Acting Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Tesfay Gidey Hailemichael of Ethiopia arrives in Abyei on 21 March 2017 (UN Photo)
March 22, 2017 (ABYEI) - The new United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) acting head of mission and force commander, Major General Tesfay Gidey Hailemichael of Ethiopia arrived in the disputed region of Abyei Tuesday to assume his duties.

Maj. Gen. Hailemichael was met by senior UNISFA management staff led by the chief mission support, Elijah Karambizi, among others.

The outgoing deputy force commander, Brigadier General Zewdu Kiros Gebrekidan accompanied Hailemichael from Khartoum.

Major General Hailemichael succeeds Major General Hassen Ebrahim Mussa, who completed his assignment on 17 February 2017.

The new acting head of mission is expected to carry forward the effective leadership and the vision set by his predecessors. As part of his initial activities in Abyei, he will be briefed by section chiefs and officers. Over the next few days, he will visit troops in different sectors and meet with the two communities, Ngok Dinka and Misseriya.

The U.N. Security Council, by its resolution 1990 of 27 June 2011, responded to the urgent situation in Sudan’s Abyei region by establishing UNISFA. The U.N Security Council was deeply concerned by the violence, escalating tensions and population displacement.

The operation has been tasked with monitoring the flashpoint border between north and south and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid and is authorised to use force in protecting civilians and humanitarian workers in the disputed oil-producing area.

UNISFA’s establishment came after the Government of Sudan and South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) reached an agreement in the Ethiopia to demilitarise Abyei and let Ethiopian troops monitor the disputed area.

(ST)