US says ‘Abyei must not be forgotten’
The United States has called on South Sudan and Sudan not to overlook the challenges facing the people of Abyei, particularly its fragile security.
It says as both Sudan and South Sudan respond to the coronavirus and engage in their political transitions, the people of Abyei must not be forgotten.
In a statement addressed to the UN Security Council, the US government stated that resolving the Abyei status is critical to supporting long-term peace efforts in both South Sudan and Sudan and the broader region.
This is in reference to recent continued attacks on civilians in the Abyei area.
Between January and April, suspected Misseriya militia group attacked several villages, burnt down homes, and ambushed cars in Abyei leading to the death of more than 50 people.
According to the United States Mission to the UN, “reports of the violence and tensions in Abyei are disturbing, and the continued loss of life remains unacceptable.”
It called for restraint and dialogue from the local communities, adding that the people of Abyei deserve to live peacefully, without fear of attack or intimidation.
Furthermore, the US demanded the inclusion of Abyei’s women to fully, effectively, and meaningfully participate in discussions about their security and future.
The statement urged Sudan and South Sudan to quickly establish temporary security and administrative arrangements that can provide a framework for lasting peace in the sensitive area.
Over the weekend, the UN Security Council renewed the mandate of the UN Interim Forces in Abyei.
UNISFA recently said it is saddened that attacks are happening in Abyei despite efforts to promote peaceful coexistence between the communities.
The Mission warned that it will not hesitate to place responsibility on those who are bent on upsetting the peace in the Area.
With the new mandate, the United States hopes that Sudan and South Sudan will remove obstacles that will allow UNISFA personnel to improve the protection of civilians and fully implement its mandate.
It reiterated the Security Council’s calls for senior UN officials and the African Union to step up their engagement with Sudan and South Sudan to resolve Abyei’s status.
The United States finally expressed its commitment to supporting peace and security in Abyei, Sudan, and South Sudan.