July 1st, 2018 12:41 EST
Security Council Renews Mandates of UN Force Monitoring Separation Area Between Israel and Syria
Adopting separate resolutions, the United Nations Security Council has extended the mandates of the Organizations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) and the African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2426 (2018), on Friday, the 15-memer Security Council renewed, until 31 December, the mandate of UNDOF, adding that there should be "no military activity" of any kind in the area of separation between Israel and Syria, including Syrian military operations and those conducted by armed opposition groups.
By the text, the Council also called on all groups other than the Force to abandon UNDOF positions and the Quneitra crossing point between the Alpha and Bravo sides of the area of operation.
It also encouraged the parties to the Disengagement of Forces Agreement to "engage constructively" with UNDOF to make the necessary arrangements for its return to vacated positions.
In a separate resolution 2425 (2018), also adopted unanimously on Friday, the Security Council extended, until 13 July 2018, the mandate of the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
By the text, the Council also decided - acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, which deals with threats to peace and acts of aggression - to extend its authorization for UNAMID to act as needed to protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian assistance.
In addition, the Security Council also urged the Hybrid Operation "to continue to deter any threats against itself and its mandate."
Security Council extends sanctions on Democratic Republic of Congo
Also on Friday, the Council extended its arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) until 1 July 2019 and the mandate of the Expert Group assisting the Sanctions Committee through 1 August 2019.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2424 (2018), the Council reaffirmed that the sanctions would apply to individuals and entities designated by the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) that met criteria outlined in previous resolutions.
The Security Council also reiterated the need for the Government of the DRC to swiftly and fully investigate the killing of the two members of the Group of Experts and the four Congolese nationals accompanying them, and to bring those responsible to justice.
Experts Michael Sharp (United States) and Zaida Catalan (Sweden) were abducted in the DRC on 12 March 2017. Their remains were recovered by peacekeepers from the UN Mission in the country (known by its French acronym, MONUSCO) on 27 March outside the city of Kananga in the Kasaï-Central province.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia