UN approves ‘final’ extension of Sudan peace mission

Members of the Tanzania military peacekeeping mission in Southern Sudan on patrol. (Shutterstock image)
Updated 12 October 2018
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UN approves ‘final’ extension of Sudan peace mission

  • The Security Council extended for six months the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei
  • Abyei is an area of about 10,500 square kilometers contested since Sudan split into two countries in 2011
NEW YOR: The UN Security Council on Thursday approved a final extension of its peacekeeping mission in the disputed Abyei region between Sudan and South Sudan — unless the two sides make progress on border demarcation and other benchmarks.
In its unanimous decision, the Security Council extended for six months the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei but said “this shall be the final such extension unless the parties take the specific measures.”
It repeated a previous warning that the situation in Abyei and along the Sudan-South Sudan border “continues to constitute a serious threat to international peace,” and called on the two countries to show concrete progress on border demarcation and monitoring, as well as other benchmarks.
Abyei is an area of about 4,000 square miles (10,500 square kilometers) contested since Sudan split into two countries in 2011.
There have been tensions between the Arab Misseriya and Ngok Dinka peoples of the region.
Sudan and South Sudan years ago agreed to take steps for setting up an administrative structure for Abyei but the Security Council in May, when it last renewed UNISFA’s mandate, expressed disappointment that “few steps” had been taken in that direction.
In November 2015, shelling in Abyei killed a four-year-old girl and a UNISFA peacekeeper.
Almost the entire UNISFA contingent of several thousand troops comes from Ethiopia.


Strasbourg gunman Cherif Chekatt shot dead by police

Updated 44 min 23 sec ago
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Strasbourg gunman Cherif Chekatt shot dead by police

  • Chekatt was killed after firing on police officers, who returned fire
  • Reporters near the scene heard three to four gunshots after a huge police operation

LONDON: A gunman on the run since he killed three people at Strasbourg’s popular Christmas market has been shot dead by police.

More than 700 French security forces had been hunting for 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt since the bloodshed on Tuesday night.

Cherif Chekatt was killed in the Neudorf/Meinau area of the city after a police operation was launched around 2100 hrs (2000 GMT) on Thursday about 2 kilometers from where he launched his attack on Tuesday.

Chekatt was killed after firing on police officers, who returned fire, a source said.

Reporters near the scene heard three to four gunshots after a huge police operation with armed forces from the BRI and RAID units. A police helicopter had been circling overhead.

The death toll from Tuesday’s attack rose to three as police on Thursday combed the city in the east of France for a second day and manned checkpoints on the German border.

Police issued a wanted poster in multiple languages for Chekatt, who was the main suspect in the attack and who had been on a watchlist as a potential security threat.

Authorities say the 29-year-old was known to have developed radical religious views while in jail.

Earlier in the day armed and masked police swooped on Strasbourg neighborhoods with elite RAID officers fanning out across three locations in late afternoon, including the area where Chekatt was last seen.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said Chekatt’s parents and two brothers were being held in custody.

Two of his sisters in Paris were also questioned on Thursday and one of their homes was searched, a judicial source said.