Up to 4,200 Ethiopian peacekeepers will maintain security in Sudan’s disputed region of Abyei as mandated by the passage of United Nations Security Council resolution 1990.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today said the United States commends the swift passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1990, which approves the mandate requested by Sudanese leaders to facilitate the deployment of Ethiopian brigade to the Abyei region.
Ms. Clinton stressed that Abyei has been a source of regional tension for many years. She pointed out that the world has witnessed last month how Sudanese Armed Forces forcibly took control of the region, resulting in widespread displacement and looting.
“The approval of this force is a critical step in implementing the June 20 agreement signed by the parties, whereby the Sudanese Armed Forces will withdraw from the Abyei area along with any Sudan People’s Liberation Army forces there.” -Ms. Clinton
She stated that an Ethiopian brigade will deploy as the United Nations Interim Security Force to enforce this withdrawal and maintain security throughout the Abyei region.
Ms. Clinton urged the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to make good on their commitments to withdraw forces from Abyei and use the talks facilitated by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel to reach mutual agreement on the future status of Abyei.
She underscored that the U.S. government remains deeply concerned about the on-going crisis in Southern Kordofan. She noted tens of thousands of people have been driven from their homes.
Ms. Clinton also expressed concern on the troubling detention of Sudanese local staff members of the UN Mission in Sudan by Sudanese authorities last week as they were being evacuated from the airport in Kadugli.
She said the two staff members have been released, five remain in the custody of Sudanese military officials. She called on the Sudanese Government to release them immediately and cease any harassment and intimidation of UN personnel in Southern Kordofan.
“We urge the parties to reach an immediate ceasefire and to provide aid workers with the unfettered access required to deliver humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians affected by the conflict.” -Ms. Clinton