A3+1 STATEMENT BY M. MARTIN KIMANI, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF KENYA AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFING ON THE UNITED NATIONS INTERIM SECURITY FORCE FOR ABYEI (UNISFA)
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of A3+1, namely Kenya, Niger, Tunisia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
- We are grateful to the Secretary General for his report on the situation in Abyei and also on the drawdown options for UNISFA. We also thank Undersecretary-General Jean Pierre Lacroix, and the UN Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Mr. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, for their briefings.
- The A3+1 commends the continued efforts of the African Union (AU), neighboring states and leaders, the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and the UN Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, in advancing the quest for peace and security in Abyei.
- We pay tribute to the UNISFA personnel who continue to faithfully implement the Mission’s mandate of providing security, ensuring peaceful migration throughout the Abyei Area, supporting intercommunity peace efforts and facilitating stability and reconciliation in the Abyei Area. Indeed, UNISFA and the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) constitute an anchor of stability along the borders between South Sudan and Sudan.
- This year marks the 10th anniversary of establishment of UNISFA and the signing of the Agreement on Temporary Arrangements for Administration and Security of Abyei Area. It is also 16 years since the 2005 Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement was concluded. Today, much more progress remains clearly to be made towards determination of the final status of Abyei.
- In particular, much more remains to be done in the political process such as implementation of the interim measures agreed by the Parties in June 2011.
- The establishment of most of the temporary administration institutions for Abyei remains to be work-in-progress – leaving the bulk of the responsibility for functional administration of the Area, including the maintenance of law and order, to UNISFA.
- With the final status of Abyei still pending, Mr President, the hopes of children, women, youth and men in the Area for a peaceful and secure future remain in limbo. However, not all is lost. The A-3+1 therefore underscore the following Five Points on the way forward:
- First: The improved relations between The Sudan and South Sudan and their efforts in facilitating and supporting their respective peace efforts are welcome. We urge the two countries to leverage these relations to take concrete steps towards full and urgent implementation of the remaining political processes in the determination of final status of Abyei, taking into account the need for soft borders and the advancement of the civic, political and economic rights of the communities in Abyei.
- Second: Both countries should avoid taking any unilateral actions that could undermine security and political stability in Abyei. The parties should engage constructively including through regular meetings of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM) and the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC). The parties should also faithfully implement the decisions of these and other relevant mechanisms
- Third: The safety and security of the people of Abyei must remain a priority. In this regard, any future decision on drawdown options for UNISFA should be informed by the views of the Parties and be condition-based, including the determination of the final status of Abyei. We, however, underscore that ultimately, a sustainable solution lies primarily on the urgent determination of the final status of Abyei as agreed upon by the two brotherly countries.
- Fourth: We commend local leaders in Abyei who have demonstrated commitment to promote women’s participation in local peace processes including in the civic space. We emphasize the imperative for enhanced role of women participation in decision making, including in leadership positions at all levels.
- Fifth: The Security Council and international partners should continue offering support to The Sudan and South Sudan, in a manner that contributes meaningfully and sustainably to resolving the issues of Abyei. In this regard, the African Union and the United Nations are urged tocontinue to extend the required diplomatic and political support, as well as technical assistance that will help the Parties in the implementation of the existing framework agreement. The A3+1 further calls for strengthened international capacity-building efforts as well as enhanced projects to improve lives and livelihoods of the communities in Abyei.
- In conclusion, I reiterate thatKenya, Niger, Tunisia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, associate with the communities in Abyei Area, in their dream to see Abyei become an oasis of peace, stability and a bridge between the people of The Sudan and South Sudan sooner rather than later. We stand ready to support the two brotherly countries in this endeavour.
- I thank you for your kind attention.