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Ethiopia begins deploying troops to disputed Abyei region


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

July 13, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA) –The Ethiopian government has begun deploying its troops to monitor the troubled North - South Sudan frontier of Abyei region, a military official said on Wednesday.

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Citizens of Abyei flee during the conflict (AFP)

The decision to deploy peace keepers to the volatile region was reached after leaders from North and South Sudan - under the broker of the African Union – signed an agreement last month in Addis Ababa to fully demilitarise the central region and to allow an Ethiopian peacekeeping force to move in to monitor Abyei.

Following the agreement, the UN Security Council (UNSC) days later approved the deployment of a 4,200 strong Ethiopian peace keeping force to monitor the withdrawal of troops from Abyei.

Speaking on state-run Ethiopian Television, Logistics Main Department Head with the Ministry of National Defense, Major General Gezahagn Abera on Wednesday said that necessary logistics had been transported to Abyei on 8 July.

Abera said he is confident that the peacekeeping force will fulfil its responsibilities to the satisfaction of all concerned parties, citing previous missions in the Horn of Africa.

Ethiopia has in the past deployed troops for similar missions in South Korea, Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia, and Democratic Republic Congo. It currently has also over 2,400 troops deployed in Darfur.

According to the UN resolution the Ethiopian force has the mission of demilitarising activities in and around Abyei and ensuring peace in the region for at least the next six months. It will be engaged mainly in protecting civilians, maintaining a buffer zone and also to create a peaceful environment that will allow a referendum to be conducted in the contested region of Abyei.

South Sudan officially became an independent state on 9 July 2011 after its citizens voted overwhelmingly to split from North. The vote came as a result of the peace agreement which ended the civil war in 2005. Another stipulation of the agreement was the right of the citizens of Abyei to a referendum. This has not yet happened. The area has been the site of conflict, with allegations that North Sudan is repopulating Abyei with members of the pro-Khartoum Misseriya ethnic group with a view to weighing a future vote in their favour.

North and South Sudan still need to engage in post-independence negotiations how to resolve other pending issues including oil revenue sharing, demarcation of the border and referendum.


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  • 14 July 2011 09:41, by Aleu

    This burning show that, Khartoum government is out of touch and the land ownership of the Dinka Ngok chiefdom are not going to vote on North Sudan mark my word please.

    repondre message

    • 14 July 2011 11:03, by eye-of-an-eye

      For sure we Dinka Ngok 9 Kingdom will never host Mesiriyah again in our homeland let them go to hell, we are the only to vote since they have no right in our homeland, let Bashir and his goverment provide enaough for thier animals as we helped them for sometimes and we say no and we promised to be enemies for ever. this is the last day marked that we have no time to entertain them again. that is all

      Welcome my brothers Ethiopian and do all you asked to protect civilians.

      repondre message

      • 14 July 2011 17:14, by DeltaBravo

        It is not Mesiriyia who are the problem. The Government push them ,becuased they need Oil the government used them as shield to cover up the thirst of Oil. i never been to Abyei,but the Mesiriyia i saw on TV are just poor nomad who are go back and forth between North and South looking for water and grass for their Animals.One Mesiriyia said it himself that we are nomad. He said all we need is just water for our animals to servive during the Summer. It NCP is the one bringing all these problem to our people in Abyei. The Government want ot drink Oil and Mesiriyia want water.

        repondre message

  • 14 July 2011 10:55, by Junior de maber

    The result of the the referendum of is known before election because Abyei has its meaning in Dinka and how about in arabic, what do you guys called it?

    repondre message

    • 14 July 2011 17:23, by Abyei Soil

      Welcome Ethiopian peacekeeping forces. You’re not only peace monitoring wings but you’re like that of a brother & a sister. We didn’t regret time we took and spent in Bilpam Ethiopia coz it has gone far much meaningful to us as South Sudanese, so courageous to us sincerely.
      Long Live Ethiopia.

      To Junior de Mabel, Abyei has two meanings attached to a tree.
      1, there is a tree called Abyei in Dinka language. It grows mostly in arid areas of Dinka territory and have a good shadow during the season of spring. I am not sure whether it bear edible fruits or can be eaten.

      2, it is also means a spongy brown or white tissue found in soft wood and in some fruits meaning a pith. It is a system that a tree used to transports its obtained mineral salt mixed with water taken from the ground to the whole parts of the tree.

      repondre message

  • 14 July 2011 19:15, by Ayuen deng

    I hope the Ethiopian troops will do their best to protect the civilian from a well armed messieria civilian and air bombadment by sudan air force.should they fail to do that,then there is no need for proudly welcoming them.i will be proud of Ethiopian troops after aweek of their in surgent in Abyei.

    repondre message

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