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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 529th meeting held on 31 July 2015, adopted the following decision on the situation in the Abyei Area:

Council,

1. Takes note of the briefing by the representatives of the United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) and the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) on the political and security developments in the Abyei Area. Council further takes note of the statements made by the Permanent Representatives of the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan;

2. Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in the Abyei Area, in particular, press statement PSC/PR/BR.(CDXCIV) adopted at its 494th meeting held on 26 March 2015, communiqués PSC/PR/COMM.(CDLVI), PSC/PR/COMM.(CDIII), PSC/AHG/ COMM/1.(CCCLIII) and PSC/PR/COMM.(CCCLXXIV), adopted at its 456th, 403rd, 353rd and 374th meetings held on 22 June 2015, 26 October 2013, 26 January 2013, and 7 May 2013 respectively, as well as the press release of the Commission of 24 June 2015;

3. Reiterates its full support to the efforts of the African Union High level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) on the issue of the Abyei Area and commends its members, namely former Presidents Thabo Mbeki, Abdulsalami Abubakar and Pierre Buyoya, as well as the Support Team, for their persistent engagement with, and support to, the efforts of the Governments and peoples of Sudan and South Sudan. Council urges the Sudanese and South Sudanese stakeholders to extend full cooperation to the AUHIP;

4. Welcomes the decisions made by the AJOC meeting, held in Addis Ababa, from 29 to 30 March 2015, in particular, the pronouncement regarding the convening of a meeting of Abyei traditional leaders. Council expresses disappointment at the indefinite postponement of the Abyei traditional leaders’ reconciliation meeting between the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya communities, which was scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa, from 20 to 24 June 2015. To this end, Council stresses the urgency of the early holding of the traditional leaders’ meeting in order to strengthen inter-communal relationships and facilitate stability and reconciliation in the Abyei Area;

5. Expresses concern at the presence of armed personnel from both Sudan and South Sudan in the Abyei Area. Council urges the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to comply with the provisions of the 20 June 2011 Agreement, related to Council decisions and UN Security Council resolutions, and the resolution adopted at the ninth AJOC meeting held on 30 March 2015, which reiterated that the Abyei Area should be a weapons-free zone;

6. Calls upon the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to implement the Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of Abyei Area on the basis of the 20 June 2011 Agreement. Council further calls for the expeditious establishment of the Abyei Area Administration, the Abyei Area Council, and the Abyei Police Service to allow provision of essential services to the population;


7. Notes with concern that the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) is not meeting its objectives of building confidence between the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan, and facilitating the demarcation of the Safe Demilitarised Border Zone. Council calls upon the parties to implement the September 2012 Cooperation Agreements related to border agreements especially the demarcation of the Safe demilitarised Border Zone (SDBZ) to allow JBVMM to effectively discharge its mandate;

8. Commends UNISFA and its Head of Mission and Force Commander for efforts in keeping peace and stability in the Abyei Area;

9. Recalls the completion of the work conducted by the Investigation Committee established in pursuance of communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CCCLXXIV), to investigate the killing of Chief Koul Deng Koul and UNISFA personnel on 4 May 2013, Council requests the Commission to submit the report of the Investigative Committee to Council by September 2015;

10. Recognizes the delay in holding the referendum on the status of Abyei in accordance with the Abyei Protocol of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Council urges the Governments of the Sudan and South Sudan to demonstrate political will and resolve the status of Abyei and requests the Chairperson of the Commission, in consultation with the AUHIP, to engage the two Heads of State to resolve the status of Abyei on the basis of the AUHIP proposal of 21 September 2012;

11. Decides to remain seized of the matters.

Posted by Abraham Kebede

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