Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Royal decree on low-cut tops

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin?

Read more

FOCUS

Bangladesh: Textile workers' lives still at risk?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

WEB NEWS

NYPD's online campaign backfires

Read more

ENCORE!

Celebrating the Bard's birthday in Britain

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yuki Tatsumi, Senior Associate of the East Asia Program, Stimson Center

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

USA: Executions halted over drugs secrecy

Read more

  • Russia orders military drills as Ukraine moves on separatists

    Read more

  • Israel halts Middle East peace talks over Hamas deal

    Read more

  • Platini: PSG in danger over Financial Fair Play rules

    Read more

  • Ségolène Royal denies banning cleavage at French ministry

    Read more

  • Afghan guard kills US doctors in Kabul hospital attack

    Read more

  • Palestinian unity deal stirs anger in Israel

    Read more

  • Video: Mayor in east Ukraine ready ‘to turn Slaviansk into battlefield’

    Read more

  • US would defend Japan in islands dispute, Obama says

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • US soldiers arrive in Poland as Ukraine crisis continues

    Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • Millions of Syrians desperately need aid, says UN

    Read more

  • Muslims in CAR pray for an escape route

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

Africa

Both sides to pull troops out of disputed Abyei region

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-09-09

Sudan and South Sudan on Thursday agreed to withdraw their respective armed forces from the disputed oil region of Abyei, a UN official said. Tensions have been high along the border since South Sudan became independent in July.

REUTERS - Sudan and newly independent South Sudan agreed on Thursday to pull back forces this month from the disputed Abyei region, a senior U.N. official said.

The decision, if implemented, could ease border tensions between the two countries.

"This was agreed today in Addis this morning" by representatives of the two governments, Edmond Mulet, deputy head of the U.N. peacekeeping department, told reporters after briefing the Security Council. The Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa is the headquarters of the African Union.

Sudan and South Sudan both hope to include Abyei in their territory. South Sudan seceded from the north to form a new nation on July 9 in line with the results of a January referendum held as part of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war between the north and south.

A referendum was originally also planned in Abyei for its population to decide which country they wished to belong to, but it was never held.

Khartoum and Juba have yet to agree on who will control Abyei, stirring fears a long-running quarrel over the region could sour the secession and spark a broader conflict. Neither side has so far withdrawn its forces.

"They have agreed that between the 11th of September until the 30th of September there's going to be this redeployment or withdrawal of the troops from (the two countries' armies) from Abyei," Mulet said.

He said the Khartoum government had originally said it would withdraw its forces when an administration was in place in Abyei, but had now dropped that condition.

Some diplomats attending the closed-door Security Council meeting said they were encouraged by the news, but others were more cautious. "We'll see," one said. "Until it happens..."

Withdrawal by the two sides' armed forces could ease the task of an all-Ethiopian U.N. peacekeeping force which has been set up to patrol Abyei. More than 1,700 Ethiopian blue-helmets have so far arrived out of a planned 4,200, Mulet said.

Civilians and soldiers alike suffer from fighting in Sudan's state of Kordofan

Abyei, however, is not the only trouble spot along the border between Sudan and South Sudan. Serious fighting has also been going on between Sudanese forces and opposition groups in the Sudanese states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

The territories are still home to tens of thousands of people from ethnic groups that sided with the south during the civil war that preceded the south's independence.

"Although there are some encouraging signs, particularly the agreement that was reached today for the beginning of a withdrawal ... nonetheless we are deeply concerned about a number of issues over South Sudan and Sudan," British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told journalists.
 

Date created : 2011-09-09

  • SUDAN - SOUTH SUDAN

    Gunfire erupts on Sudan's tense north-south border

    Read more

  • SUDAN

    South Sudan rebels: 'North using food as a weapon'

    Read more

  • SUDAN

    Khartoum follows South's lead with new currency

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)