Addis Abeba – Sudan on Wednesday announced that the United Nations (UN) agreed to replace thousands of Ethiopian forces within the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) with other UN forces.
Chairman of Sudan’s Transitional Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan received a phone call from UN Undersecretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, in which the two sides discussed arrangements for replacing the Ethiopian forces within UNISFA with other UN forces upon Sudan’s request, the sovereign council said in a statement.
Lacroix stressed that the replacement operations would begin in February and last till March 2022.
For his part, Al-Burhan promised to remove all barriers and challenges facing the mission.
Earlier, Sudan demanded replacement of the Ethiopian forces within the UNISFA in the wake of a border dispute with Ethiopia.
The UNISFA was established in 2011 by the UN Security Council to monitor the Abyei border. It is mainly composed of Ethiopian forces of around 4,200 troops and 50 police personnel. Later, the size of the forces was increased to 5,326, all of whom are from Ethiopia.
The Sudan-Ethiopia relations have been strained by rising tensions, including deadly skirmishes, along the border between the two countries since September 2020. Xinhua