Friday, 9 September 2011

Sudan and South Sudan agrees to withdraw troops from Abyei

According to the UN, Sudan and newly independent South Sudan have agreed to withdraw troops from the disputed town of Abyei at the end of September. Deputy Head of UN peacekeeping Edmond Mulet said the deal was brokered by the African Union during talks in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.

Both countries claim Abyei and the ongoing conflict was supposed to be resolved with a referendum on its future status, however, the vote was postponed indefinitely over disagreements on voter eligibility, to do with the nomadic, Khartoum-backed Misseriya Arab tribespeople.

The move to demilitarise the town is expected to ease border tension between Khartoum and Juba.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday 8th September, Mulet said: "They [Sudan and South Sudan] have agreed that between 11th September and 30th September there is going to be a redeployment or withdrawal of the troops."

He noted that Khartoum had originally said it would only pull out its troops when an administration was in place in Abyei, but had now dropped that condition.

Northern forces occupied Abyei in May, raising fears of a renewal of Sudan's 21-year north-south conflict. Violence in the northern border state of Southern Kordofan has also led to around 60,000 people being displaced.

A UN peacekeeping force of more than 1,700 Ethiopian soldiers has been deployed in Abyei since last month.

Sources: BBC News, AFP , Reuters

For more news and expert analysis about the Sahara region, please see Sahara Focus.

No comments:

Post a Comment