United States Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
May 11, 2021
AS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD
The United States expresses its thanks to fellow Council members for demonstrating ongoing support to the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).
The people of Abyei deserve to live in peace without fear of violence. This resolution to renew UNISFA’s mandate recognizes that the people of Abyei also deserve a functioning security and administrative arrangement that can offer rule of law and stability. The United States welcomes continued cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan to manage bilateral disputes by supporting peace, security, and stability and encourages both countries to build on the commitments of the Juba Peace Agreement. In this context, we also call on them to prioritize safety and security of civilians living in Abyei, find ways to improve governance and reduce the likelihood of violence and to determine the final status of Abyei.
While South Sudan and Sudan work together to reach agreement on Abyei, obstructions that prevent UNISFA from fulfilling its security and protection mandate must be lifted. This resolution to renew UNISFA reiterates the concern of the Security Council that withholding visas for UN police forces, blocking the deployment of a civilian deputy head of mission, and denying access to Athony airstrip could create a security vacuum, and create logistical and safety challenges for UNISFA personnel.
The United States looks forward to the outcome of the Secretary-General’s strategic review on further reconfiguration of the mission and establishing a viable exit strategy for UNISFA. With shifting dynamics in the region, it is essential that we continue to assess how UNISFA contributes to the regional political and security architecture.
This resolution encourages the African Union and other key stakeholders to intensify their mediation roles to establish temporary administrative and security arrangements and to engage on finding a resolution to the final status of Abyei. We urge the African Union to take advantage of this opportune moment to develop longer-term solutions that can be sustained after the departure of UN peacekeepers.
The United States remains committed to supporting peace and security in Abyei, and in Sudan and South Sudan.