By Elias Gebreselassie
The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced on Wednesday evening he has appointed Major General Gebre-Adhana Woldezgu of Ethiopia as new Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).
He will replace Major General Tesfay Gidey of Ethiopia who will complete his assignment on April 23,2018.
Ethiopia is providing all the 4,400 troops UNISFA deployed in Abyei, between Sudan and South Sudan.
An oil rich region Abyei, is contested by Sudan and South Sudan, with the UNISFA troops offering a buffer between forces from both countries and protecting various communities living in the territory.
The UNISFA troops were supposed to be a temporary arrangement until the two nations agreed on the final status of Abyei, but so far leaders of South Sudan and Sudan have failed to reach an agreement on the territory.
The border issue represents one of the biggest obstacles hindering the settlement of differences between Sudan and South Sudan, ever since the latter seceded from the former in July 2011.