Abyei (UNISFA)

Background

The history of Sudan has long been plagued by civil war. The largely non-Arab, non-Muslim South, accused the predominately Arab, Muslim North of political and economic exclusion, as well as ethnic and religious discrimination. While a 2011 referendum resulted in the independence of South Sudan, the Abyei area, which lies along the border of Sudan and South Sudan, remains contested.

The primary objective of United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) is to monitor the border between north and south and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid. UNISFA is also authorized to use force in protecting civilians and humanitarian workers in Abyei.

How UNISFA Supports U.S. Interests

The resolution to establish UNISFA was drafted and championed by the United States. In the years that followed, the UN’s work in Abyei has remained in U.S. interests.

Promotes regional stability

UNISFA supports U.S. national security interests particularly given the instability of the surrounding areas–including the Central African Republic, Darfur, and South Sudan. By working to demilitarize this disputed border region, UNISFA promotes a broader, regional peace between the Sudans, and in East Africa as a whole.

Increases local collaboration

The mission’s efforts to work with local communities to strengthen ties, resolve disputes, and increase peace and security have greatly contributed to the general calm.

Budget

While the U.S. is the largest single contributor to the UN’s peacekeeping budget at 28% or $2.1 billion of the total budget, other UN member states pay the vast majority of costs and contribute 99% of the nearly 100,000 troops. Provided below is a breakdown of the cost of each mission and the U.S. contribution to UNISFA.

Resources

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