- The present report is submitted pursuant to paragraph 32 of Security Council resolution 2352 (2017), in which the Council requested to be informed of progress in implementing the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and to have any serious violations of all applicable agreements brought to its immediate attention. It also provides an update on the status of the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism, as requested in paragraph 8 of resolution 2352 (2017). It covers the period since the issuance of my previous report (S/2017/649), from 25 July to 7 October 2017.
II. Abyei Conflict dynamics and security situation
- Conflict in the Abyei Area continued to be characterized by four trends. First, there were reports of intercommunal violence over access to grazing land and water during the annual migration of the Misseriya, which has been a traditional source of conflict between the Misseriya and the Ngok Dinka. Second, criminal activities at the Amiet common market were a persistent problem, with the potential to exacerbate intercommunal tensions as the two communities intermingle at the market and in the surrounding areas. Third, incidents of petty crime continued, largely as a result of the adverse economic situation in the Abyei Area, which includes a lack of livelihood opportunities and the prevalence of arms. Fo urth, the presence of armed groups created the potential for inflaming tensions between the two communities. Overall, the number of violent incidents in the Area decreased during the reporting period, which coincided with the rainy season, as compared with the previous period. In particular, there was a marked reduction in violence at the Amiet common market, following proactive engagement by UNISFA with both communities and its robust military posture, which was reinforced at certain flashpoints. Despite a number of violent incidents, the security situation in the Area remained relatively calm. Nonetheless, the situation continued to be volatile, in the absence of progress in implementing the Agreement of 20 June 2011 and establishing the final status of the Area.