UN / ABYEI

27-Oct-2021 00:04:02
UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix said, “it is encouraging that both South Sudan and Sudan have now established national committees on the question of Abyei, and the warming of their relations was visible in Abyei, where most of the threats to the community were of a criminal nature, not of military nature.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / ABYEI
TRT: 4:02
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 27 OCTOBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY / RECENT
SHOTLIST
FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations

27 OCTOBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2.Wide shot, Security Council
3.SOUNDBITE (English) Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary- General for Peace Operations:
“It is encouraging that both South Sudan and Sudan have now established national committees on the question of Abyei, and the warming of their relations was visible in Abyei, where most of the threats to the community were of a criminal nature, not of military nature. UNISFA continued to build on this momentum in its engagement with the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan on all matters of relevance to the Mission. UNISFA – in close coordination with my team– also spent significant energy and resources on the complex military and logistical planning that will be required as UNISFA transitions from a single contingent to a multinational peace operation.”
4. Wide shot, Security Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary- General for Peace Operations:
“The review team did identify a significant trust deficit that remains between the communities in Abyei, particularly the Misseriya and Ngok Dinka, and noted an important space for UN peacebuilding, humanitarian, recovery and development assistance. The UN continues to prioritize support for this issue, and it is my hope that the Council will provide UNISFA with a continued, and somewhat strengthened, mandate in this particular area - while slowly but steadily identifying areas where the military and security side of the Mission could start preparing for an eventual drawdown.”
6. Wide shot, Security Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary- General for Peace Operations:
“With respect to the military side of UNISFA, the strategic review proposes two viable options for the force. One option would keep overall force numbers close to what they are currently, the second option proposes a lightly reduced troop ceiling, a move that will require more operational adjustments but should encourage Sudan and South Sudan to move forward on outstanding issues with increased urgency. It is also recommended that the UN establishes a rule of law support strategy. An additional outcome of the strategic review was the need for the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism - or JBVMM - to remain as is.”
8. Wide shot, Security Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa:
“The tragic event unfolding in Sudan following the unconstitutional change of government, reflects the shaky transitions that many countries in the region are going through. It will be therefore critical, urgently restore the constitutional order in Sudan, consistent with the constitutional declaration, as well as the Juba Peace Agreement.”
10.Wide shot, Security Council
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa:
“Despite lingering disagreements between the governments of Sudan and South Sudan on a number of outstanding matters, including over the final status of Abyei, the intensification of high-level contacts between the two countries and the complementarity of their mediation efforts in resolving their respective internal conflicts augur well for their long-term peaceful co-existence. It is crucial for both countries to preserve and build on the progress achieved so far and to resolve the conflict in the Blue Nile, and South Kordofan states. As they do so, the international community should in turn spare no effort in enabling them to achieve their noble goals. Given the increasingly tense regional environment, I hope that the current developments in Sudan will not reverse the commendable achievements already made.”

12.Wide shot, Security Council
STORYLINE
UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix said, “it is encouraging that both South Sudan and Sudan have now established national committees on the question of Abyei, and the warming of their relations was visible in Abyei, where most of the threats to the community were of a criminal nature, not of military nature.”

Addressing the Security Council today (27 Oct) via a video link, Lacroix briefed the Council on the situation in Abyei and on the strategic review for the UN Interim Security Force in Abyei, or UNISFA.

He noted that in the implementation of its mandate over the past reporting period, UNISFA successfully continued its work to protect the people of Abyei through its military and mine action presence, support to intercommunal dialogue, women’s participation in political life and the rule of law, and UNISFA’s humanitarian and recovery work reached more than 103,000 vulnerable people.

The peacekeeping chief said, “UNISFA continued to build on this momentum in its engagement with the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan on all matters of relevance to the Mission.”

He added that UNISFA – in close coordination with his team– “also spent significant energy and resources on the complex military and logistical planning that will be required as UNISFA transitions from a single contingent to a multinational peace operation.”

At the request of this Council, Lacroix’s team, jointly with the Office of the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, the Department of Operational Support and the Department of Safety and Security, conducted in-person consultations with stakeholders in Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia from 18 to 30 June.

He said, “the review team did identify a significant trust deficit that remains between the communities in Abyei, particularly the Misseriya and Ngok Dinka, and noted an important space for UN peacebuilding, humanitarian, recovery and development assistance.”

The peacekeeping chief continued, “the UN continues to prioritize support for this issue, and it is my hope that the Council will provide UNISFA with a continued, and somewhat strengthened, mandate in this particular area - while slowly but steadily identifying areas where the military and security side of the Mission could start preparing for an eventual drawdown.”

With respect to the military side of UNISFA, the strategic review proposes two viable options for the force, Lacroix said.

He explained, “one option would keep overall force numbers close to what they are currently, the second option proposes a lightly reduced troop ceiling, a move that will require more operational adjustments but should encourage Sudan and South Sudan to move forward on outstanding issues with increased urgency.”
Lacroix added, “it is also recommended that the UN establishes a rule of law support strategy. An additional outcome of the strategic review was the need for the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism - or JBVMM - to remain as is.”

Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa also spoke to the Council. He noted that today’s meeting took place against the backdrop of multifaceted challenges posing a serious threat to the stability of several countries in the Horn of Africa.

The Special Envoy said, ““The tragic event unfolding in Sudan following the unconstitutional change of government, reflects the shaky transitions that many countries in the region are going through. It will be therefore critical, urgently restore the constitutional order in Sudan, consistent with the constitutional declaration, as well as the Juba Peace Agreement.”

Despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic, the Special Envoy said that he was able to engage with national authorities of both countries during the review period, both in person in the company of USG Lacroix in Khartoum and Abyei, and in New York, as well as remotely.

He visited Khartoum and Abyei from 6-8 September, as part of consultations with the Governments of Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia on the future status of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). He also discussed bilateral relations between Sudan and South Sudan.

Parfait said, “despite lingering disagreements between the governments of Sudan and South Sudan on a number of outstanding matters, including over the final status of Abyei, the intensification of high-level contacts between the two countries and the complementarity of their mediation efforts in resolving their respective internal conflicts augur well for their long-term peaceful co-existence.”

He continued, “it is crucial for both countries to preserve and build on the progress achieved so far and to resolve the conflict in the Blue Nile, and South Kordofan states.”

The Special Envoy also reiterated, “the international community should in turn spare no effort in enabling them to achieve their noble goals. Given the increasingly tense regional environment, I hope that the current developments in Sudan will not reverse the commendable achievements that have already made.”
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