UNMIS says its pullout from Sudan irked by SPLM-N in South Kordofan

September 8, 2011 (Sudan Tribune)

A team charged with phasing out the United Nation Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) has complained that the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) is hindering its job in the unrest-hit border state of South Kordofan.

UNMIS was established by the UN Security Council (UNSC) in 2005 to monitor the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement whose signing in the same year ended decades of war between north and South Sudan and paved the way for the latter’s independence in July of the current year.

Khartoum has terminated the mission’s mandate and ordered the nearly 10,500-strong peacekeeping force to depart from the north.

On the other hand, Juba welcomed UNMIS to stay and it has therefore been relocating to south Sudan.

In a statement released to the media on Wednesday, the spokesman of UNMIS’s liquidation team noted that the mission has been smoothly drawing down its presence in the country since July 12, 2011 and managed to pull out its troops from Sudan by 31 of August “except for rear parties who are guarding military and communications equipment belonging to the respective contributing countries.”

However, the statement noted that the team had faced “security related challenges” from SPLM-N elements in Julud and Kauda sites in South Kordofan State.

Sudan’s border states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan have recently plunged into an episode of violence which saw the country’s army battling forces of the SPLM-N that used to be part of the ruling party in South Sudan prior to the country’s break-up.

UNMIS’s liquidation team said it had faced security-related challenges from the SPLM-N units in Julud and Kauda team sites in South Kordofan State.

According to the team’s statement, SPLM-N troops had recently seized a UN vehicle and electrical equipments in Julud. The team said it had managed to retrieve the vehicle and that negotiations were underway obtain the balance of stores.

The team further requested the SPLM-N to “respect UN immunities and privileges.”


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