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On Friday, October 15, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)[1] expressed concerns about the UN peacekeeping force's working conditions in Abyei, a disputed region along the South Sudan border. The members expressed great concern over recent developments in Gok Machar, South Sudan, including threats to the safety and security of peacekeepers, which resulted in the murder of an Ethiopian peacekeeper on September 14, reported news agency Xinhua citing a press statement. The council members demanded that the South Sudanese government facilitate the unhindered implementation of UNISFA's mandate and provide full support to the mission's personnel by removing all hurdles to the mission's work in order to protect civilians, including ensuring the mission's freedom of movement and facilitating the provision of food, medicine, and other necessary supplies to its personnel, reported Xinhua. 

The council members emphasised the importance of UNISFA and the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) in achieving peace, security, and stability in Abyei and the broader region, and urged the South Sudanese government to step up its mediation efforts with members of the local community in Gok Machar in order to reduce tensions and allow for the redeployment of UNISFA personnel to team sites 11 and 12. The members of the council also urged Sudan and South Sudan to schedule a meeting of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism to resolve the current issues and make the JBVMM's work easier. According to Xinhua, the press statement by UNSC members was issued after the Security Council heard a briefing on the dramatic deterioration of UNISFA's working conditions in South Sudan. 

Meanwhile, the UNSC also strongly denounced the 'horrendous terrorist attack' on the Imam Bargah-e-Fatima Mosque in Afghanistan's Kandahar region on Friday, emphasising the importance of bringing the culprits to justice. An explosion inside a Shia mosque in Kandahar claimed the lives of at least 47 people and injured another 70. Members of the UN Security Council conveyed their sincere sympathies and condolences to the victims' families. The UNSC also urged all States to cooperate actively with all competent authorities in this regard, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions. The Security Council members reaffirmed that all acts of terrorism are unlawful and unacceptable, regardless of motivation, wherever, whenever, and by whomever, they are perpetrated, according to the statement.


  1. ^ United Nations Security Council (UNSC) (www.republicworld.com)

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