Thank you President,
And thanks to the briefers for their insights.
I particularly commend Special Envoy Hanna Tetteh for her efforts to revitalize the political process. We also want to commend her collaboration with the African Union Peace and Security Council, and the AU High Level Implementation Panel.
Norway remains deeply concerned about the high level of tension in and around Abyei.
We note with particular concern the report's reference to "coordinated attacks on Ngok Dinka communities by Twic Dinka and Misseriya".
The repeated cycles of violence between communities make development impossible, and they have a devastating effect on civilians- including children.
We call on the Misseriya, the Ngok Dinka, and all neighbouring groups to show restraint, and engage in efforts to decrease tensions ahead of the next dry season.
We are also concerned about continued attacks on UNISFA peacekeepers.
UNISFA must remain operational, willing, and ready to implement its full Chapter VII mandate to protect civilians under threat of physical violence.
Let me add three points to today’s discussion on UNISFA and the situation in Abyei:
First, we need to see progress on the most contested issue: will Abyei belong to Sudan or South Sudan.
While this remains unresolved, the implementation of the joint mechanisms- as stipulated in the June-2011 agreement is essential to ensure stability and provide services for the people.This will strengthen cooperation, and build trust between the communities on the ground.
We welcome the high-level meeting between Sudan and South Sudan earlier this week, and urge the parties to commit to regular meetings in the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee.
It is also critical that efficient visa procedures are applied to ensure timely recruitment and replacement of police and military personnel; as well as human rights expertise and other civil personnel in UNISFA. In addition, the Anthony airstrip should be accessible.
Second, we commend UNISFA’s efforts to build peace and support reconciliation among the communities in Abyei- including through the Abyei joint programme.
Women’s voices are important.
Enhancing their participation in these processes must remain a top priority.
Further, we commend the efforts by UNISFA to promote human rights and the rule of law.
The pilot ‘referral pathway for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence’ is a great example. However, more could, and would, be achieved with the authorized number of police personnel in place, and the appropriate human rights capacity.
And third, it is important to recognise that the current impasse on the final status of Abyei reflects the severe democratic challenges that mark the transitions in both Sudan and South Sudan.
We encourage the governments in both countries to promote inclusive political processes that consider the views of the local populations, and ensure the protection of civilians, including children.
Cross-border cooperation is, and will continue to be key for a future where the people enjoy security and development.
And practical confidence building measures create a conducive environment.
Neither side should see ‘the final solution’ as a
Norway strongly supports the renewal of UNISFA’s mandate.
We urge the parties to implement the joint mechanisms. And we call on the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan to redouble their efforts towards an agreement on the final status of Abyei.