The following Security Council press statement was issued on 17 March by Council President Sylvie Lucas:
On 12 March, the United Nations Security Council was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous, and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) and Special Representative to the African Union Haile Menkerios on the situation in Sudan and South Sudan under resolution 2046 (2012) and on the situation in Abyei.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their grave concern about the highly volatile security and humanitarian situation in Abyei Area, and condemned recent clashes between armed elements resulting in civilian casualties and displacement. They commended the leadership and peacekeepers of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) for their courageous and professional service as they seek to protect the civilians of Abyei, and reiterated their support for UNISFA to use all necessary means to maintain security in Abyei Area.
The members of the Security Council demanded that South Sudan immediately withdraw numerous SPLA and SSNPS forces in Abyei Area and Sudan immediately withdraw the oil police from Diffra. They recalled in this regard the decision in resolution 2046 (2012) that Sudan and South Sudan implement pending aspects of the 20 June 2011 Agreement on Temporary Arrangements for the security and administration of Abyei Area, in particular the redeployment of all Sudanese and South Sudanese forces out of the Abyei Area. They further recalled that the 20 June 2011 Agreement stipulates Abyei as a weapons free area, and in this regard, demanded that all militias immediately disarm.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their demand in resolution 2126 (2013) that Sudan and South Sudan urgently establish 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.
They recalled their decision in Resolution 2046 (2012) that Sudan and South Sudan shall unconditionally resume negotiations under the auspices of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) and with the support of the Chairman of IGAD, to reach agreement on critical issues, including final status of the Abyei Area, and reiterated their demand in resolution 2126 (2013) for immediate resumption of the work of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC). They also requested Sudan and South Sudan to renew their commitment to the establishment of the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ) and to full operationalization of the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM).
The members of the Security Council expressed their disappointment that the resumption of negotiations between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement–North (SPLM-N) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the auspices of the AUHIP, ended in deadlock on 2 March 2014. They noted that the Government of Sudan has responded to the AUHIP’s proposed Draft Framework Agreement of 18 February 2014 and encouraged the SPLM-N to respond in accordance with the format requested by the AUHIP. The Council also called upon the parties to respond with renewed commitment to the African Union Peace and Security Council’s request in its 10 March 2014 Communiqué to continue the bilateral consultations they have initiated to reach a better understanding and solution by 30 April 2014.
The members of the Security Council underscored their calls upon the Government of Sudan and SPLM-N to cease hostilities, engage in direct and constructive talks without conditions, and make the necessary concessions to reach agreement on ending the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States of Sudan in accordance with provisions of resolution 2046 (2012).
The members of the Security Council reiterated their grave concern about the dire humanitarian situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States. They also called on all parties to refrain from any acts of violence against civilians — particularly indiscriminate actions in civilian areas — and to expedite safe and unhindered humanitarian access for the timely and full delivery of humanitarian aid, including comprehensive health vaccinations, to all civilians in urgent need of assistance, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law, including international humanitarian law and respect for the United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance.
File photo: Presidents Al Bashir and Salva Kiir