UN / ABYEI

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28-Apr-2020 00:02:58
UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix told the Security Council that despite the improving relations between Sudan and South Sudan, it remains very unlikely that progress will be made in determining the final status of the Abyei area in the short to medium term. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / ABYEI
TRT: 2:58
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 28 APRIL 2020, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT - NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, United Nations Headquarters

28 APRIL 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2.Wide shot, Ambassadors on screen
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, United Nations:
“At the local level, the security situation in the Abyei Area remains volatile, with episodes of heightened tensions between the Ngok Dinka and the Misseriya communities, an increase in criminality and the presence of armed elements in UNISFA’s area of responsibility. UNISFA strove to contain insecurity and to keep the Abyei Area a weapons-free zone through rapid response and presence in sensitive areas. However, the movement of armed men reported by the local population on several occasions during the reporting period remained a source of concern.”
4. Wide shot, ambassadors on screen
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, United Nations:
“Although no cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in UNISFA, the UNISFA COVID Task Force medical teams are visiting all team sites and sectors to verify the state of preparedness in the Mission. Engineering work has been completed to establish a 16-bed quarantine area for uniformed personnel.”
6. Wide shot, ambassadors on screen
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, United Nations:
“At the local level, and on a daily basis, UNISFA conducts sensitization with a large section of interlocutors, including civil society, women’s associations, communities coming to the different marketplaces and dedicated meetings with Paramount Chiefs, judges and prosecutors, to encourage hand-washing and social distancing. As a result of the discussions in detention centers, the Chief Criminal Court decided to release 13 detainees convicted on petty crimes to help decongest the cells and to comply with the WHO Guidelines on social distancing. Agencies are also in discussions with local administration on requirements for screening sites in several locations of the Abyei area.”
8. Wide shot, Ambassadors on screen
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Parfait Onanga- Anyanga, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, United Nations:
“I am particularly worried by the exponential increase in the number of COVID-19 related death in Sudan. Urgent external support will be needed to address the response to these unprecedented challenges. The pandemic will also likely have a negative effect on the peace processes in the two countries including by significantly slowing down the engagements.”
10. Wide shot, Ambassadors on screen
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Parfait Onanga- Anyanga, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, United Nations:
“My office will continue the presidential engagement with the authorities of both countries and as appropriate, with all key regional actors, including the African Union and IGAD, to encourage them to not only consolidate peace and stability within the territories, but also to advance the implementation all binding cooperation agreements.”
12. Wide shot, ambassadors on screen.


STORYLINE:

UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix told the Security Council that despite the improving relations between Sudan and South Sudan, it remains very unlikely that progress will be made in determining the final status of the Abyei area in the short to medium term.

Briefing the Security Council today (28 Apr) via video link, Lacroix said, “At the local level, the security situation in the Abyei Area remains volatile, with episodes of heightened tensions between the Ngok Dinka and the Misseriya communities, an increase in criminality and the presence of armed elements in UNISFA’s area of responsibility.”

He continued, “UNISFA strove to contain insecurity and to keep the Abyei Area a weapons-free zone through rapid response and presence in sensitive areas. However, the movement of armed men reported by the local population on several occasions during the reporting period remained a source of concern.”

The peacekeeping chief noted that UNISFA troops have also been subject to attacks by armed elements. In the latest incident, on 24 April, in Sector Center, UNISFA forces challenged an armed Misseriya herdsman in Nai Nai, who fired upon them. In a separate incident in same day, also in Sector Center, a Misseriya armed group, with automatic assault rifles, engaged with UNISFA troops at the Alal post.

Lacroix also told the Council that “athough no cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in UNISFA, the UNISFA COVID Task Force medical teams are visiting all team sites and sectors to verify the state of preparedness in the Mission,” adding that “engineering work has been completed to establish a 16-bed quarantine area for uniformed personnel.”

He welcomed the Prime Minister’s assurance that he will soon put a team together to conduct the necessary consultations with the Ministry of Defense and Intelligence for the use of the Athony airstrip. The use of the airstrip would significantly improve UNISFA’s medevac capability and address its current logistical challenges.

Lacroix also said “at the local level, and on a daily basis, UNISFA conducts sensitization with a large section of interlocutors, including civil society, women’s associations, communities coming to the different marketplaces and dedicated meetings with Paramount Chiefs, judges and prosecutors, to encourage hand-washing and social distancing.”

He continued, “as a result of the discussions in detention centers, the Chief Criminal Court decided to release 13 detainees convicted on petty crimes to help decongest the cells and to comply with the WHO Guidelines on social distancing. Agencies are also in discussions with local administration on requirements for screening sites in several locations of the Abyei area.”

Also briefing the Council was UN Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Parfait Onanga- Anyanga. He said he is “particularly worried by the exponential increase in the number of COVID-19 related death in Sudan. Urgent external support will be needed to address the response to these unprecedented challenges."

He also noted, "The pandemic will also likely have a negative effect on the peace processes in the two countries including by significantly slowing down the engagements.”

The Special Envoy also said his office "will continue the presidential engagement with the authorities of both countries and as appropriate, with all key regional actors, including the African Union and IGAD, to encourage them to not only consolidate peace and stability within the territories, but also to advance the implementation all binding cooperation agreements.”
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