UN Security Council extends mandate of peacekeeping mission in Sudan

13:21, April 28, 2011      

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The UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan (UNMIS).

The adoption comes after South Sudan voted to secede from the North in a landmark referendum in January.

The referendum marks the final phase of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which concluded 20 years of war between the northern-based government in Khartoum and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/ Army (SPLM/A) in the south -- a war that claimed the lives of some 2 million people and left millions more displaced.

The Security Council resolution extends the mission's mandate until July 9, 2011 -- coinciding with the day South Sudan will officially be able to declare independence.

Meanwhile, the resolution considers the request by the government of southern Sudan "for a continued United Nations presence in South Sudan."

In the new resolution, the 15-nation Security Council said it plans to set up a successor mission to UNMIS and asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to submit a report by May 16 on the post-independence options for a UN presence.

Senior UN officials have voiced concern in recent weeks about the violence and tensions within Southern Sudan ahead of independence, as well as ongoing disputes between the north and south over such issues as the status of the Abyei area and border demarcation.

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Atul Khare told the Security Council last week that key elements of the CPA may not be resolved before July 9, and that these disputes threaten to pull the parties back into open conflict.

Established by a 2005 Security Council resolution, UNMIS remains on the ground in Sudan to support the political implementation of the CPA and provide humanitarian assistance. The mission comprises more than 10,400 uniformed personnel.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
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