Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen met today (June 28) with Graham Maitland, UN Director for Eastern African Division of the Department of Political and Peace Building Affairs and Operations.
The meeting aimed to discuss the strategic review of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and assess ways reconfiguring the mission.
Mr. Demeke stressed that the peacekeeping force must stay in Abiye and the necessary support should be given to it to enable it to discharge its mandate.
He said the withdrawal of the Force further exacerbate political instability and conflicts in the area.
The two sides have also discussed Sudan’s request to the UN to remove the Ethiopian peacekeepers from the disputed Abyei region.
The Deputy Prime Minister stressed that Ethiopian troops are in Abyei based on the joint agreement of Sudan and South Sudan and under the authority of the UN.
In this regard, Mr. Demeke said Ethiopia’s force members are paying sacrifices to prevent war, and their exit, if necessary, has to be with the consent of stakeholders and in a dignified manner.
The Deputy Prime Minister also questioned the morality of some UN agencies in politicizing and unnecessarily echoing the cases of some Ethiopian soldiers who dramatize their defect from their unit just to get acceptance to their asylum quests.