The Security Council today unanimously voted to renew the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) for four months, until 15 October, calling on the communities and Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to work with the United Nations towards resumed community dialogue and administration, under the supervision of a joint oversight body.
In adopting resolution 2156 (2014) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, and following the Secretary-General's recommendations of 13 May, the Council welcomed the United Nations strategic review of UNISFA. It reiterated its demand that Sudan and South Sudan immediately resume the work of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee to ensure steady progress on the implementation of the 20 June 2011 Agreement.
Furthermore, it restated its demand that those Governments urgently begin the establishment of the Abyei Area Administration and Council by resolving the deadlock over the composition of that council, as well as constitute the Abyei Police Service, in line with the 2011 Agreement.
The Council further decided to maintain the troops already authorized under resolution 2104 (2013) deployed, and that the remaining authorized forces would only be sent when the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism was reactivated. The 15-member body requested the Secretary-General keep it updated on the status of that issue.
Urging renewed efforts to determine the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone centreline on the ground, it reiterated that such a line in no way prejudiced the current or future legal status of the border, ongoing negotiations on the disputed and claimed areas, and border demarcation.
The Council condemned the presence of Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA)/ South Sudan National Police Service armed personnel and Diffra oil police units deployed in the Abyei area, as well as the repeated entry of Misseriya militias into the territory. It requested UNISFA to observe, document and report on the movement and presence of weapons into Abyei. It also urged the two Governments to take immediate steps to implement confidence-building measures among the communities in the Abyei Area, including through grass-roots reconciliation processes.
Hassan Hamid Hassan ( Sudan), speaking after action, said the resolution had several significant paragraphs about implementing agreements between Sudan and South Sudan on the Abyei issue. Settlement of the situation required dialogue. He reaffirmed Sudan's commitment to implement the 20 June 2011 Agreement (on security and administrative provisions) and the 29 June 2011 Agreement (on the Joint Verification and Monitoring Mechanism). Indeed, the shortest path to solving problems was full implementation of those texts, especially concerning the establishment of legislative and police services.
"There is no other path but dialogue in order to ensure a settlement of the dispute," he said, stressing that Sudan would not take any unilateral measures.
He recalled that the Sudanese army had withdrawn from the Abyei region and was implementing the road map, which the Council had confirmed through resolution 2046 (2012). The Secretary-General's report had confirmed Sudan's respect of such mechanisms. Any new proposals aimed at imposing "hasty solutions" would have "disastrous" results. In the next four months, he hoped progress would be achieved in establishing security and administrative arrangements. In sum, he expressed hope that Sudan's brothers and sisters in the South would fulfil their obligations under those agreements.
Francis Mading Deng ( South Sudan) said the "best thing going" for the people of Abyei and the Missiriya neighbours was the presence of UNISFA. The situation had reached a point where alternative ideas were urgently needed to overcome the impasse and prevent the crisis from escalating into another "catastrophic" explosion in the region. The highest priority was to stabilize the Abyei situation by establishing an effective administration and ensuring that the Ngok Dinka returned safely to their original areas of residence to lead secure, productive lives. That required urgent measures to promote Ngok Dinka-Missiriya dialogue towards durable peace and reconciliation.
Recognizing that the international community did not approve of the Abyei community's referendum, he said there was wide acknowledgment that it had been transparently conducted. Yet, without Sudan's cooperation and support of regional and international organizations, it had no practical significance. The Ngok Dinka needed to restore their autonomous administrative status under internationally guaranteed security arrangements. The Missiriya had their own autonomous administration within Sudan's national framework. Such mutually respectful arrangements would allow the area to stabilize.
The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 10:35 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2156 (2014) reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling its previous resolutions and its presidential statements on the situation in Sudan and South Sudan, and in particular, resolutions 1990 (2011), 2024 (2011), 2032 (2011), 2046 (2012), 2047 (2012), 2075 (2012), 2104 (2013), 2126 (2013), as well as presidential statements S/PRST/2012/19 and S/PRST/2013/14, and the Council's press statements of 18 June 2012, 21 September 2012, 28 September 2012, 6 May 2013, 14 June 2013, 14 February 2014 and 17 March 2014,
"Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Sudan and South Sudan, and to the purposes and the principles of the United Nations Charter, and recalling the importance of the principles of good neighbourliness, non-interference and regional cooperation,
"Reiterating that the territorial boundaries of States shall not be altered by force, and that any territorial disputes shall be settled exclusively by peaceful means,
"Affirming the priority it attaches to the full and urgent implementation of all outstanding issues from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA),
"Reaffirming its previous resolutions 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), 1674 (2006), 1738 (2006) and 1894 (2009) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict; 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009), 1998 (2011), 2068 (2012), and 2143 (2014) on children and armed conflict; 1502 (2003) on the protection of humanitarian and United Nations personnel; and 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013) and 2122 (2013) on women peace and security,
"Recalling the commitments made by the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan in the 20 June 2011 Agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement on Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei area, the 29 June 2011 Agreement between the Government of the Sudan and the Government of South Sudan on Border Security and the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM), and the 30 July 2011 Agreement on the Border Monitoring Support Mission between the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan, as well as the 27 September 2012 Agreements on Cooperation and Security Arrangements, the JPSM's 8 March 2013 decision, and the Implementation Matrix of 12 March 2013, reached by the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan in Addis Ababa under the auspices of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP),
"Emphasizing the importance of the full participation of women in the implementation of agreements and in the prevention and resolution of conflict and peacebuilding more broadly,
"Expressing its full support for the efforts of the African Union on the situation between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan, in order to ease the current tension, facilitate the resumption of negotiations on post-secession relations and the normalization of their relations, recalling in this regard the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) communiqués of 24 April 2012, 24 October 2012, 25 January 2013, 7 May 2013, 29 July 2013, 23 September 2013, 26 October 2013 and 12 November 2013; the AUPSC press statement of 6 November 2013; and the statement from the Chairperson of the AU on 28 October 2013,
"Noting with concern the stalled efforts by the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan to demilitarize the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ), including the "14 Mile Area", and to implement the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM), in accordance with Council resolution 2046 (2012) and the AUPSC road map of 24 April 2012, as a result of South Sudan's continued disagreement with the location of the SDBZ centreline and its decision of 22 November 2013 to temporarily suspend its participation in the JBVMM,
"Underlining the importance of establishing and maintaining effective JBVMM monitoring of the SDBZ, including the "14 Mile Area",
"Stressing that both countries will have much to gain if they show restraint and choose the path of dialogue instead of resorting to violence or provocations,
"Welcoming the importance of recent meetings of President Bashir and President Salva Kiir in continuing dialogue, recalling the UNSC decision in resolution 2046 that the parties must resume immediately negotiations to reach agreement on Abyei final status under the auspices of the AUHIP, calling upon all parties to engage constructively in the process mediated by the AUHIP towards final agreement on the final status of Abyei Area, and stressing that the parties must immediately implement pending aspects of the 20 June 2011 Agreement, in particular to resolve the dispute over the Abyei Area Council and immediately establish the Abyei Area Administration and Abyei Police Service,
"Commending the continued assistance provided to the parties by the AUHIP, including its Chairman President Thabo Mbeki, former Presidents Abdulsalami Abubakar and Pierre Buyoya, the Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan, Haile Menkerios, and the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) under the leadership of Lieutenant-General Yohannes Tesfamariam,
"Commending the efforts of UNISFA in carrying out its mandate, including by its ongoing facilitation of peaceful migration throughout the Abyei Area, and expressing its deep appreciation for the work of the troop-contributing countries,
"Noting with concern the current fragility of the security situation in Abyei Area, acknowledging UNISFA's contribution to enhanced peace and stability since its deployment, and determined to prevent the recurrence of violence against or displacements of civilians and to avert intercommunal conflict,
"Expressing its determination that the future status of Abyei shall be resolved by negotiations between the parties in a manner consistent with the CPA and not by the unilateral actions of either party,
"Deeply concerned by the public administration and rule of law vacuum in the Abyei Area, due to continued delays in the establishment of the Abyei Area Administration, Council and Police, including a special unit to deal with particular issues related to nomadic migration, which are essential to maintain law and order and prevent intercommunal conflict in Abyei,
"Noting with concern the continued threat of intercommunal violence in the Abyei Area, including the ongoing tensions that prevent UNISFA's and other agencies' Sudanese staff from returning to Abyei,
"Noting that the continued delay in establishing the temporary institutions and resolving the final status of Abyei contributes to tension in the region, emphasizing the importance of all parties refraining from any unilateral action to aggravate intercommunal relations within Abyei area, and expressing concern over the continued implications of what the AUPSC described in their 6 November 2013 press statement as "the decision by the Ngok Dinka to conduct a unilateral referendum",
"Bearing in mind the importance of coherence of United Nations assistance in the region,
"Welcoming and encouraging efforts by the United Nations to sensitize peacekeeping personnel in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases in all of its peacekeeping operations,
"Stressing the need for effective human rights monitoring, including of any sexual and gender-based violence and violations and abuses committed against children, taking note that there have been no developments with regard to the operationalization of human rights monitoring in the Abyei area, and reiterating its concern at the lack of cooperation by the parties with the Secretary-General to this end,
"Further stressing the urgency of facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all affected communities in the Abyei area,
"Affirming the importance of voluntary, safe, orderly return and sustainable reintegration of displaced persons, and of peaceful and orderly migration cycles respecting the traditional migratory routes from Sudan to South Sudan through Abyei, and urging UNISFA to take measures as necessary to ensure security in the Abyei area in accordance with its mandate,
"Recalling its resolution 2117 (2013), and expressing grave concern at the threat to peace and security in Abyei arising from the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons,
"Expressing concern with the residual threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war in the Abyei Area, which hinders the safe return of displaced persons to their homes and safe migration,
"Welcoming the steps taken by UNISFA towards the effective implementation of its mandate, including, inter alia, through conflict prevention, mediation and deterrence,
"Taking note of the 13 May 2014 Secretary-General's report (S/2014/336), including its assessment that the political and security situation on the ground has seriously deteriorated and could become untenable during the next dry season and 2014-2015 migration cycle, and the recommendations contained therein,
"Recognizing that the current situation in Abyei and along the border between the Sudan and South Sudan continues to constitute a serious threat to international peace and security,
"1. Decides to extend until 15 October 2014 the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) as set out in paragraph 2 of resolution 1990 (2011) and modified by resolution 2024 (2011) and paragraph 1 of resolution 2075 (2012), and acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, further decides to extend until 15 October 2014 the mandate of UNISFA as set out in paragraph 3 of resolution 1990 (2011), and determines that for the purposes of paragraph 1 of resolution 2024 (2011), support to the operational activities of the JBVMM shall include support to the ad hoc committees, as appropriate when so requested by consensual decisions of these mechanisms, within UNISFA's operational area and existing capabilities;
"2. Welcomes the UN's strategic review of UNISFA, and the recommendations in the 13 May Secretary-General's report of support to the resumption of community dialogue and administration by the communities under AJOC supervision; in this regard, calls upon the communities and the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to work with the UN towards that goal; and stresses the importance of support in these efforts from the African Union;
"3. Reiterates its demand that Sudan and South Sudan immediately resume the work of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) to ensure steady progress on the implementation of the 20 June 2011 Agreement, including the implementation of the AJOC decisions;
"4. Further reiterates its demand that Sudan and South Sudan urgently commence the establishment of the Abyei Area Administration and Council, including by resolving the deadlock over the composition of the Council, and constitute the Abyei Police Service, to enable it to take over policing functions throughout the Abyei Area, including the protection of oil infrastructure, in accordance with their commitments in the 20 June 2011 Agreement;
"5. Decides to maintain the troops authorized by resolution 2104 (2013) already deployed, and that the remaining authorized forces will only be deployed in case of reactivation of the JBVMM, and at the appropriate time as deemed by the Secretary-General, to enable UNISFA to provide required force protection to the JBVMM and to enable UNISFA to fully support the JBVMM to conduct extended operations into the SDBZ as soon as possible, and requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council fully updated on the status of deployment as part of his regular reporting cycle;
"6. Expresses concern regarding the stalled efforts to fully operationalize the JBVMM, as a result of South Sudan's continued disagreement with the location of the SDBZ centreline and its decision of 22 November 2013 to temporarily suspend its participation in the JBVMM, and calls upon the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan to make timely and effective use of the JBVMM, JPSM and other agreed joint mechanisms to ensure the security and transparency of the SDBZ, including the "14 Mile Area";
"7. Urges renewed efforts to determine conclusively the SDBZ centreline on the ground, and reiterates that the centreline of the SDBZ in no way prejudices the current or future legal status of the border, ongoing negotiations on the disputed and claimed areas, and demarcation of the borders;
"8. Underscores that UNISFA's protection of civilians mandate as set out in paragraph 3 of resolution 1990 (2011) includes taking the necessary actions to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, irrespective of the source of such violence;
"9. Condemns the presence of SPLA/SSNPS armed personnel and Diffra oil police units deployed in the Abyei Area, as well as the repeated entry of Misseriya militias into the territory, and reiterates its demands that immediately and without preconditions the Government of the Republic of South Sudan fully redeploy its security service personnel from the Abyei Area and that the Government of Sudan also redeploy the Oil Police in Diffra from the Abyei Area, and further reiterates, in accordance with relevant resolutions, in particular resolution 1990 (2011) and resolution 2046 (2013), that the Abyei Area shall be demilitarized from any forces, as well as armed elements of the local communities, other than UNISFA and the Abyei Police Service;
"10. Supports the AJOC's 3 May 2013 decision on Abyei's status as a weapons-free area, underscores the AUPSC's concern in its 7 May 2013 communiqué over reports that various communities living in Abyei are heavily armed, recalls that the 20 June 2011 Agreement on Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area stipulates that Abyei should be a weapons-free area and that only UNISFA is authorized to carry weapons inside the area, and in this regard, urges the two Governments to take all necessary steps to ensure that Abyei is effectively demilitarized, including through disarmament programs as necessary;
"11. Requests that UNISFA, consistent with its mandate and within its existing capabilities, observe, document and report on the movement of weapons into Abyei and the presence of weapons within Abyei as part of the Secretary-Generals' regular reporting cycle;
"12. Urges the two Governments immediately to take steps to implement confidence-building measures among the respective communities in Abyei Area, including through reconciliation processes at the grass-roots level and supporting UNISFA in convening a peace conference between the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya traditional chiefs, and strongly urges all Abyei communities to exercise maximum restraint in all their engagements and to desist from inflammatory acts or statements that may lead to violent clashes, or any further unilateral activities;
"13. Requests UNISFA to continue its dialogue with the AJOC and with the Misseriya and Ngok Dinka communities on effective strategies and oversight mechanisms for ensuring full compliance by all relevant parties with Abyei's status as a weapons-free area, with a particular priority placed on the urgent elimination of heavy or crew-served weapons, as well as rocket-propelled grenades, and calls upon the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan, the AJOC, and the Misseriya and Ngok Dinka communities to extend full cooperation to UNISFA in this regard;
"14. Calls upon all parties to cooperate fully with the findings and recommendations following the Abyei Area Joint Investigation and Inquiry Committee's (AAJIIC) investigation into the killing of a UNISFA peacekeeper and the Ngok Dinka paramount chief;
"15. Expresses its intention to review as appropriate the mandate of UNISFA for possible reconfiguration of the mission in light of the compliance by Sudan and South Sudan with the decisions set forth in resolution 2046 (2013) and their commitments as set forth in the Agreements of 20 June 2011, 29 June 2011, 30 July 2011 and 27 September 2012, including the redeployment of all forces from the SDBZ, achieving full operational capability for the JVBMM, and the ad hoc committees, as well as completing the full demilitarization of the Abyei area;
"16. Calls upon all Member States, in particular Sudan and South Sudan, to ensure the free, unhindered and expeditious movement to and from Abyei and throughout the SDBZ of all personnel, as well as equipment, provisions, supplies and other goods, including vehicles, aircraft, and spare parts, which are for the exclusive and official use of UNISFA;
"17. Renews its call upon Sudan and South Sudan to provide full support to the United Nations, including by promptly issuing visas to military, police and civilian United Nations personnel, including humanitarian personnel, without prejudice to their nationality, facilitating basing arrangements and flight clearances, and providing logistical support, and calls upon all parties to fully adhere to their obligations under the Status of Forces Agreements;
"18. Recognizes the absence of critical infrastructure projects affecting UNISFA peacekeeping personnel, notes the action being taken to address this situation, and urges the Secretary-General to continue to take the measures available to him to remediate this situation and better enable UNISFA to implement its mandate;
"19. Demands that the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan continue to facilitate the deployment of the United Nations Mine Action Service to ensure JBVMM freedom of movement as well as the identification and clearance of mines in the Abyei area and SDBZ;
"20. Further demands that all parties involved provide humanitarian personnel with full, safe and unhindered access to civilians in need of assistance and all necessary facilities for their operations, in accordance with international law, including applicable international humanitarian law, and United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance;
"21. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure that effective human rights monitoring is carried out, and the results included in his reports to the Council, and reiterates its call upon the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan to extend their full cooperation to the Secretary-General to this end, including by issuing visas to the concerned United Nations personnel;
"22. Requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures to ensure full compliance of UNISFA with the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuses and to keep the Council informed if cases of such conduct occur;
"23. Stresses that continued cooperation between the Government of Sudan and Government of South Sudan is also critical for peace, security and stability, and the future relations between them;
"24. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to inform the Council of progress in implementing UNISFA's mandate in two written reports, no later than 30 July 2014 and 30 September 2014 respectively, and continue to bring to the Council's immediate attention any serious violations of the above referenced agreements;
"25. Notes the Secretary-General's efforts to ensure close cooperation among United Nations missions in the region, including UNISFA, the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), and the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), as well as his Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, and requests him to continue this practice;
"26. Decides to remain actively seized of this matter."