21st April 2021
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Calls to dismiss Ethiopian peace keepers from Abyei ‘unprocedural’— official

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Thursday, April 8, 2021

UNISFA was established through UN Security Council Resolution 1990 of June 27, 2011. PHOTO/UNISFA

The Deputy Chief Administrator of Abyei Area has downplayed the call by the Sudanese government to dismiss Ethiopian troops from the region.

Kon Manyieth described the campaign by Sudan to have the UN replace the Ethiopian soldiers in Abyei as a “unilateral and unprocedural decision.”

This week, the Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Mariam al-Mahdi said her country wants another force to be deployed in Abyei.

As of January this year, there were more than 4,000 UN personnel stationed in Abyei as part of the UN Interim Security Force for the area.

Among them are 3,116 contingent troops belonging to the Ethiopian Army and police force. Ethiopia is also the largest contributor of personnel in the disputed Abyei region.

Mariam told the pan-Arab Alhadath television that Sudan can not accept Ethiopian forces in the strategic depth of the country while the Ethiopian troops are massing on the eastern borders of Sudan.

She was referring to the dispute at the Al-Fashqa border, and the failure of a three-day meeting in Kinshasa about the giant hydropower dam that Ethiopia plans to operate next July.

Mariam Al-Mahdi disclosed that Sudan is reviewing its relations and cooperation agreements with Ethiopia for having shown unacceptable intransigence.

She insisted that the UN should replace the Ethiopian troops present in the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNIFSA) with peacekeepers from other countries.

However, Abyei is also a disputed region between Sudan and South Sudan, jointly administered by the Presidency of the two countries.

The Deputy Chief Administrator says he does not know of such an agreement between Sudan and South Sudan to expel Ethiopian troops.

Kon Manyieth told Eye Radio that South Sudan must be consulted on the matter before it is presented to the UN.

The Security Council is expected to discuss the Sudanese request during a meeting that will take place on April 26.

On November 12, 2020, the UN Security Council renewed the UNISFA mandate for six months until May 15, 2021.

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