Home | News    Saturday 10 September 2011

North, South Sudan agree to complete Abyei pullout this month

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

September 9, 2011(ADDIS ABABA) - Sudan and newly independent South Sudan on Thursday agreed to completely withdraw their respective armed forces from the contested oil-producing border region of Abyei before October, a UN official said.

The agreement was reached after representatives of the two governments met for talks in the Ethiopia capital, Addis Ababa. The accord was brokered by an African Union mediation panel led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki.

Khartoum government dropped its precondition of insisting a governing administration is established before pulling out its military. However it has now agreed to begin the withdrawal on Friday and to complete it by the end of September.

"This was agreed today in Addis this morning" Edmond Mulet, deputy head of the UN peacekeeping department told reporters shortly after a Security Council meeting on Sudan on Thursday.

"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.

Abyei has recently become a source of conflict between North and South after Northern forces occupied the flashpoint area in May, raising fears of a renewal of Sudan’s 21-year North-South civil war that killed some 2 million people.

Leaders from North and South Sudan signed an agreement in Addis Ababa later in June to fully demilitarise the central region and allow an Ethiopian peacekeeping force to move in.

Following the African Union brokered agreement, the UN mandated deployment of 4,200 Ethiopian peacekeeping forces to Abyei. However no civilian or political staff have been approved by Khartoum for the mission.

Ethiopia which is seen as honest broker from both sides has already deployed 1,700 troops to the oil-producing Abyei, a region claimed by both North and South.

If implemented the latest accord is believed to ease the peacekeeping operations of the Ethiopian UN peacekeeping force which is currently monitoring the flash point region.

Despite a peaceful North-South divorce on 9 July, there still remain other pending issues including the fate of Abyei. Fees for using northern oil infrastructure to export oil from landlocked South Sudan is one of the major issues as well as demarcating the ill defined border.

A referendum in Abyei - agreed as part of a 2005 north-south peace deal - to decide whether it will remain the the North of join South Sudan has not taken place due to disagreement on who could take part.

(ST)

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  • 10 September 2011 09:49, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

    Hi!

    How many agreements have been accorded? And how many are implemented by Bashir?

    It is a time wasting to use table method of solving Abyei’s problem in the first place because He(Bashir) has invaded the area by a forceful means.

    repondre message

    • 10 September 2011 13:08, by mohammed ali

      Machut,

      According to the " agreements" there should be no army in Abeyei. SAF invaded Abeyei because the SPLA was there against the agreement. Now they agreed to accept what the first " agreement" stipulated and pull out. Never too late!

      repondre message

      • 11 September 2011 05:01, by acuil deng

        @ Mo Ali
        The Dinka-Nyok of Abyei region would rather live free with their brothers in the SOUTH, than die unfree with their enemies in the NORTH. They would rather choose hell with Salva Kiir, over heaven with Omar Bashir. There is nothing wrong with SPLA’s exclusion, when everything is wrong with CPA’s inclusion of non-Dinka into the negotiation. And also that, because NOMAD don’t own land, otherwise; how can you own a land when you’re always on the move. In the end, pulling out from Abyei for good would the best option.

        repondre message

  • 10 September 2011 23:52, by acuil deng

    According to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) Abyei region, which is mainly inhabited by nine sub-tribe of Dinka Nyok, and which has been historically part of the present state of (Northern Bhar Elgazal). And which did not hold its referendum, simultaneously; with South Sudan, which gained its independence in the 9th of July 2011. And since the SPLA’s condition is to exclude the non-Dinka from the referendum, while the NCP insisting to include them. Therefore, Abyei is again a hot spot for more clashes between both sides. There will be no lasting-peace, if Abyei conflict is not, peacefully resolved, and that it could turned into the KASHMIR of Africa.

    repondre message

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