Photo: A teenager displaced by recent violence washes clothes in a basin at a UN compound in South Sudan (K. McKinsey / UNHCR)
The Chairperson of the Commission of the AU, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has expressed “deep concern” at the incidents that took place in the Abyei Area in the past few weeks, including killings and abductions, as well as raiding of livestock in various villages.
In a press statement today, Dr Zuma urges the Abyei communities “to exercise utmost restraint and to desist from any action likely to heighten tension in the Area”.
She appeals to the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to make renewed efforts towards the early establishment of the Abyei Police Service, as well as of the administrative bodies agreed to within the framework of the “Temporary Arrangements on the Administration and Security of Abyei” of 20 June 2011, in order to prevent such security incidents and effectively manage them when they occur.
Abyei Joint Oversight Committee
In her statement, Dr Zuma reiterates the AU's full support to the United Nations Interim Security Force for the Abyei Area (UNISFA) in its continued efforts to maintain stability, including through engagement with local community leaders.
“The Chairperson of the Commission looks forward to the early convening of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC), and praises the efforts being deployed to this end by the AU AJOC Facilitator. She encourages the AJOC to seize the opportunity of its planned meeting to agree on the immediate commencement of the inter-communal dialogue.”