UNISFA Acting Head of Mission and Force Commander bids farewell
The Force Commander and Acting Head of Mission for the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) Major General Hassen Ebrahim Mussa, has said farewell to the mission and people of Abyei after completion of his one year tour of duty as the mission’s Force Commander and Acting Head of Mission.
“I am leaving with a deep sense of gratitude and satisfaction for having headed UNISFA, which by my reckoning is a professional outfit that is committed to establishing lasting peace in the Abyei Area”, said General Mussa, stressing that UNISFA as a mission has come a long way and has firmed up as an instrument of peace in the area since its inception after the instability in 2011.
UNISFA is a product of the June 2011 Agreement that established it to serve as a pathway towards peaceful co-existence between the Ngok Dinka and the Misseriya communities in the region. Relations between the two communities deteriorated in the aftermath of the killing of the Ngok Dinka Paramount Chief in 2013. UNISFA’s mitigating strategies such as continuous engagement with the two communities and other peace initiatives which included relaxation on monitoring the ‘disengagement line’ brought about peace in the Abyei Area and has contributed towards community reconciliation.
The key mandate and focus of the mission is protection of civilians. This has the support of all peace actors including the two host governments and the communities. UNISFA has encouraged community dialogue and the use of traditional mechanisms as vital keys for resolving disputes and disagreements.
Two other issues vital for social integration and peaceful co-existence facilitated by UNISFA are the Common Market and sharing of grazing land and water by both the communities. The establishing of the Common Market at Noong (Annam) followed by Ameit (near Todach) was a landmark achievement towards establishing peaceful co-existence by the two communities besides boosting trade and serving as a major source of income and livelihood.
Even though the full potential of AJOC has not been realized yet, UNISFA remains committed to the people of Abyei to establish peace, harmony and facilitate administrative mechanisms as well as ensure delivery of humanitarian aid. The JBVMM is also vital to UNISFA’s role. The mechanism is moving towards completion of its initial operational capability. UNISFA through efforts of its military, police and civilian components both substantive and support, along with other UN agencies has delivered on its mandate.
“I thank all UNISFA members for their commitment and support and urge them to continue to do so thereby upholding the values of the United Nations.”