Agreement on withdrawing unauthorised forces from Abyei region of Sudan

UN peacekeepers in Sudan have welcomed the commitment from the northern and southern sides, to withdraw all unauthorised troops from the Abyei region.

Peacekeepers in Sudan on patrol in the Abyei area

Representatives met to discuss the issue at a meeting organised by the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).  Julia Paul reports:

Representatives from the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) met on Sunday.

They agreed to immediately withdraw all unauthorized forces from Abyei, and deploy joint teams – made up of staff from both sides – to provide security.

The operation will start on Tuesday and finish by May 17. The agreement has been welcomed by the UN Mission in Sudan.

Dozens have been killed in Abyei since the start of the year, when a referendum on the area’s status failed to take place amid disagreement on voter eligibility.

Southern Sudan will secede from the rest of the country in July as a result of a separate referendum held in January. Both north and south claim Abyei.

Julia Paul at the United Nations Headquarters

Duration: 49″

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