7939th Security Council Meeting: Sudan and South Sudan

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SIX OFFICIAL 15-May-2017 00:49:53
The Security Council decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force for Abyei (UNISFA) at 7939th meeting.
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Unanimously adopting resolution 2352 (2017), the Council also decided to reduce UNISFA’s authorized troop ceiling from 5,326 to 4,791, marking the first change in the Force’s troop levels since 2013. Further by the text, it urged the two sides to resume direct negotiations in order to agree on a final settlement of the Abyei question.

Expressing renewed concerns about persistent delays and stalled efforts to make the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism fully operational — as required under Council resolution 2046 (2012) and the African Union Peace and Security Roadmap — the Council also extended UNISFA’s mandated support of the Mechanism, while deciding that the extension would be the last unless both parties demonstrated “clear commitment and steadfast guarantees” of implementation.

Speaking after the adoption, Council members drew attention to various elements of the two reports before it — namely, a Secretary-General’s report on the situation in Abyei (document S/2017/312) and a Special Report of the Secretary-General on the review of UNISFA’s mandate (document S/2017/293) — with many speakers welcoming the resolution’s unanimous adoption as a strong signal of the Council’s unity. More broadly, some delegates emphasized the need to keep the mandates of United Nations peace operations under constant review in order to ensure their effectiveness, efficiency and appropriateness, noting that today’s text had successfully struck that delicate balance.

In that regard, the representative of the United States, the resolution’s sponsor, emphasized: “Five years of obstacles to deployment […] is enough,” in reference to the unfulfilled task of making the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism operational. “The status quo must be questioned when the status quo is not working.”

Ethiopia’s representative, pointing out that his country was the only one contributing troops to UNISFA, recalled that a meeting of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism held in Addis Ababa yesterday under African Union auspices had outlined the specific steps to be taken by the two sides over the coming months, and expressed hope that when the Council met again in six months, “we will have tangible progress”.

Also speaking were representatives of Italy (also for Sweden), Russian Federation, Japan, Egypt, China, United Kingdom, Senegal, France, Uruguay, Sudan and South Sudan.

The meeting began at 7:03 p.m. and ended at 7:52 p.m.
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1886447
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1887303