UN approves 'final' extension of Abyei peace mission

(EBC; October 12, 2018)  - The UN Security Council on Thursday approved a final extension of its peacekeeping mission in the disputed Abyei region — unless the two sides make progress on border demarcation and other benchmarks.


In its unanimous decision, the Security Council extended for six months the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei but said "this shall be the final such extension unless the parties take the specific measures."


The situation in Abyei and along the Sudan-South Sudan border "continues to constitute a serious threat to international peace," and called on the two countries to show concrete progress on border demarcation and monitoring, as well as other benchmarks.


Sudan and South Sudan years ago agreed to take steps for setting up an administrative structure for Abyei but the Security Council in May, when it last renewed UNISFA's mandate, expressed disappointment that "few steps" had been taken in that direction.


Almost the entire UNISFA contingent of several thousand troops comes from Ethiopia.