UN organizes conflict management training in contested Sudanese area

The United Nations peacekeeping mission set up to help implement the peace accord that ended the long-running north-south civil war in Sudan has organized conflict management training for joint police units and military battalions in an area beset by conflict earlier this year.

A Zambian contingent with the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) facilitated the five-day training course in Abyei for members of the local joint integrated unit (JIU) and joint integrated police unit (JIPU), the mission said in a press release issued today. Members of the national security and civil administration also participated.

Conducted on mission premises in Abyei and concluded earlier this week, the course was sponsored by the United Kingdom and focused on such conflict management skills as analysis, listening and negotiating.

The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) ending the civil war called for the establishment of JIUs and JIPUs to integrate members of the Sudanese military and the former southern rebels known as the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).

But deadly fighting between the two sides broke out in May in Abyei, an oil-rich area in central Sudan whose status was not fully resolved under the CPA, leading to a peace agreement the following month aimed at restoring stability to the region and spurring civilians who had fled as a result of the violence to start to return.