H.E. Ambassador Pedro Comissário, Representative Of The Republic Of Mozambique To The Security Council

A3+ Statement by H.E. Ambassador Pedro Comissário Representative Of The RepublicOf Mozambique To The Security Council At The Briefing On The United Nations Interim Security Force For Abyei (Unisfa)

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the A3+ namely, Algeria, Guyana, Sierra Leone, and my own country, Mozambique. 

We express our appreciation to the Under- Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix and the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa, Ms. Hanna Tetteh, for their insightful briefings.

We welcome the participation of the Permanent Representative of the Sudan and South Sudan to this meeting.

It is with grave concern that we are discussing once again, the alarming situation in the Abyei Area, in a context of persisting security challenges, particularly involving intercommunal clashes, kidnappings and cattle rustling. 

The insecurity in this region, is being aggravated by the proliferation of small arms and ammunition, has been responsible for casualties among civilians, including UNISFA’s peacekeepers. Meanwhile, negotiations on the final Status of Abyei remain stalled. 

It is against this backdrop that the A3+ would like to underline the following points:

First, the demilitarized status of Abyei must be respected by all parties. Although negotiations on the final status are stalled, it is crucial that both parties remain guided by the latter and spirit of the 20 June 2011 Agreement.  

These agreed temporary arrangements are critical for the security and protection of civilians in the Abyei Area, until the determination of its final Status.

In the same vein, we call on the parties to grant the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism with all the facilities. We note the efforts deployed by the authorities of the Sudan and South Sudan to assist the mechanism in delivering its mandate despite all the challenges on the ground.

we further call on the relevant authorities to guarantee the freedom of movement of UNISFA personnel and troops to allow them to carry out their duties in line with the status of forces agreement

Second, attacks against civilians, humanitarian actors and peacekeepers are unacceptable. They constitute gross violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law.

In this context, we encourage all parties to coordinate their efforts to de-escalate tensions and protect civilians.

We commend the unremitting efforts of South Sudan to engage local authorities regarding the cessation of hostilities and accountability for those who incite violence.

We also commend UNISFA for promoting inter-community dialogues involving local authorities, traditional leaders, civil society, women and youth.

The agreement of last December between the Ngok Dinka and the Misseriya communities, facilitated by UNISFA, to ensure peaceful transhumance, constitutes a commendable initiative that needs to be replicated.

We believe that these initiatives will create the necessary conditions for stability through dialogue and reconciliation between communities.

Third, the humanitarian situation of Abyei deserves our particular attention. The compounding challenges faced by the people of Abyei, which include the effects of climate shocks and the influx of displaced persons fleeing the Sudan [TV2] conflict, are exacerbating an already dire situation.

In this regard, we call on the relevant partners to increase their support to the people of Abyei and we further encourage UNISFA and other United Nations agencies to strengthen their assistance to the most vulnerable.

The A3+ further reiterates that it is critical to define the final status of Abyei in order to bring sustainable peace and prosperity to Abyei.

To that end, we encourage the parties to re-engage on the final status of Abyei and border issues once conditions permit, with a view of holding the planned referendum which will provide the region with the right for self-determination.

To conclude, the A3+ wishes to express its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives due to violence in Abyei. We also pay sincere tribute to UNISFA’s personnel and all humanitarian workers for their sacrifice.

We take comfort in the fact that their sacrifice was not in vain as they were contributing to efforts to safeguard the well-being of Abyei and its people.

I thank you.

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