from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – THE movement of armed elements within the non-state Abyei area between Sudan and South Sudan has raised fears of worsening conflict in the region.
The exacerbation of the conflict in the area has caused untold suffering as well as humanitarian concerns.
The United Nations’ Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) confirmed the movement of the militants in the southern part of the Abyei Box.
It mentioned that the Abyei Box remained a weapon-free area that should not have the presence of any force either conventional or armed elements of both communities.
“It is therefore important that all parties respect the relevant Security Council Resolutions in this regard,” UNISFA stated in a statement.
In view of this, the UN mission condemned the renewed fighting within and around the borders of Abyei Box urging all parties to cease fire in order to allow the political process to resolve the lingering crisis.
“UNISFA is against any form of unauthorized deployment within the Box.”
UNISFA has strengthened the presence of peacekeepers in the area saying they were closely monitoring the situation.
The Security Council has requested both Sudan and South Sudan that the Abyei area should be demilitarized from any forces, as well as armed elements of the local communities, other than UNISFA and the Abyei Police Service.
Abyei, an area of 10 546 km2 (4 072 square miles), was accorded “special administrative status” as part of the peace agreement that ended the Second Sudanese civil war (1983 to 2005).
– CAJ News