Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Abyei (S/2015/302).

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Security Council Agenda Geographical Topic: 
Document PDF: 

Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Abyei (S/2015/302).

Code: S/2015/302 [1] 

Period of Time and Topic: Covering the period from 30 January to 29 April 2015, the report informs of progress in the implementation of the mandate UNISFA and brings attention to violations of the Agreement between the Government of the Sudan and the SPLM on temporary arrangements for the administration and security of the Abyei Area.

Women, Peace and Security

The report makes only two references about women, both concerning the training of women on issues of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV), including domestic violence by the police gender officer for UNISFA.[1] UNISFA police gender office reported on the training of 50 women. This is the first mention of domestic violence in the context of reporting on Abyei, suggesting initiative to address root causes of violence against women beyond conflict. In addition, specific protection activities in the humanitarian sector include the training of traditional leaders, youths and women on the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence.[2] The report’s two references on the training on SGBV suggest an approach to protection efforts, which recognizes the need to ensure women are participating in some way in the design and planning of protection efforts.

References in Need of Improvement

While training on SGBV provides a gender sensitive protection mechanism with women’s involvement, the report should have also guaranteed women’s access to these gender focal points as well as provided gender disaggregated data on SGBV and encourage health and/or psycho-social support, particularly within the humanitarian sector.

The report provides sex disaggregated data for the abduction of boys and girls in one instance.[3] However, the report should have included sex disaggregated data in all instances of abductions and violence. 

Missed Opportunities

The report emphasizes UNISFA’s strategy to focus on the prevention of intercommunal conflict.[4] However, the report missed an opportunity to discuss the impact of intercommunal conflict in Abeyi on women and/or women’s participation in the prevention of such conflict. In particular, the report did not frame information of attacks in women’s protection language. Within the reporting period, three instances of Misseriya militias attacks on villages led to the loss of life, abductions, livestocks, and homes by civilians.[5] The report should have provided gender analysis of attacks, particularly the impact of violence on the socio-economic impacts, as well as gendered disaggregated data.

The report also notes that violence in the region often arises as the result of armed unauthorized presence of security elements from both the Sudan and South Sudan.[6] The report, however, missed an opportunity to discuss the impact of small and medium weapons[7] on women and/or discuss the participation of women in the trafficking of weapons. Further, communal leaders have decided to hold a “traditional leaders meeting” in an attempt to prevent further armed clashes.[8] The report should have called for women’s participation in this meeting and all meetings future meetings regarding the establishment of Abyei Area Administration. Elections were also held in the northern part of the northern (Misseriya-dominated) areas of Abyei.[9] The report missed an opportunity to discuss women’s participation in elections and/or provide gender disaggregated data on voters and candidates.

Although women in the humanitarian sector are receiving training on SGBV, no call for gender sensitive protection in the humanitarian sector and/or demand for accountability is made. The report discusses the “absence” of rule of law institutions in the Abyei region,[10] but does not acknowledge this impact on women or the environment of impunity for SGBV. In addition, there is no mention of gender-specific service provisions for survivors of SGBV. Most importantly, the report should have provided gender disaggregated data on SGBV to provide a mandated monitoring mechanism.

Ideal Asks for WPS Transformation

The resolution should be improved with an explicit reference to and analysis of all genders, emphasizing diverse masculinities and femininities, including the dynamics between and among genders as well as the communal and interstate power relations and hierarchies at play.


[1] S/2015/302 (2015), para. 9.

[2] S/2015/302 (2015), para. 29.

[3] S/2015/302, para. 4.

[4] S/2015/302, para. 8.

[5] S/2015/302, para. 4, 5,6, 7.

[6] S/2015/302, para. 2, 3.

[7] S/2015/302, para. 40.

[8] S/2015/302, para. 18.

[9] S/2015/302, para. 20.

[10] S/2015/302, para. 9.