UN Security Council issues warning over violence in Abyei

12 May 2011

UN Security Council issues warning over violence in Abyei

12 May 2011 – Members of the UN Security Council yesterday expressed deep concern about the situation in the disputed Abyei area and urged parties to the 2005 peace pact to reach an agreement on the area's status as soon as possible.

In a press statement, the 15-member Council condemned the introduction by the northern and southern sides of armed forces into Abyei – a direct violation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement – as well as recent clashes that have resulted in fatalities on both sides.

The Council also condemned the shooting and wounding of four UNMIS peacekeepers, which took place while the blue helmets were conducting a routine patrol in Goli, north of Abyei town on 10 May.

Deadly clashes have occurred in Abyei since the start of the year when a referendum on the area's status that was supposed to have been held never took place amid disagreement on voter eligibility.

Yesterday's press statement from the Council stressed the need to reduce tensions in line with an earlier agreement between President Omar al-Bashir and First Vice-President Salva Kiir to resolve the dispute over Abyei peacefully through negotiation and the assistance of the African Union's High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP).

"In this regard, the members of the Security Council welcome the commitments made by Vice-President Ali Osman Taha and First Vice-President Salva Kiir to AUHIP that neither party shall include an unconditional claim to Abyei in its draft national constitution," the statement noted.

"The members of the Security Council urge both parties to honour these commitments, to avoid escalation, and to seek a peaceful negotiated solution to the status of Abyei."

The statement welcomed the 8 May deal between the two sides to immediately implement the earlier Kadugli Agreement and withdraw troops from Abyei by 17 May, and called on all sides to allow UNMIS unhindered access.

In addition, Council members welcomed the recent completion of voting in elections in the state of Southern Kordofan, but voiced deep concern over rising levels of insecurity in that state and urged all parties to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric.
press statement
Zambian peacekeepers wounded /node/100040776
8 May agreement
Story courtesy of UN News Centre