March 17, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan and South Sudan armies have completed the withdrawal of their troops from disputed border areas, announced a high ranking Sudanese officer on Saturday evening.
Speaking to Sudan TV from Addis Ababa, Lt. General Emad Adawi confirmed the withdrawal of both Sudanese and South Sudanese troops from areas claimed by the two countries, in line with the 8 March agreement.
Adawi, who is a member of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM), said that the two sides have a meeting on Sunday in the Ethiopian capital to discuss the ongoing implementation of the security arrangements.
Earlier this month, the JPSM agreed that troops from the two sides should pull out of disputed areas within seven days, starting from 10 March. The agreement also provides for the withdrawal of troops in the Mile 14 area within 14 days.
A joint monitoring force called (JBVMM) composed of 90 monitors from each side and a protection battalion composed of 860 Ethiopian troops from the UN Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) will patrol the common border to verify the movement of troops from both sides.
The Sudanese general underlined the seriousness of the parties to enforce the security arrangements, saying that the UNIFSA force commander would report to Sunday’s meeting on the withdrawal of troops.
He further said that a Corridor Committee will hold its first meeting on Sunday to discuss the opening of 10 crossing points between the two countries as part of the cooperation agreement to facilitate cross-border trade.
The African Union (AU) said in a tweet on Sunday morning that former president of Nigeria and member of the mediation team Abdul Salam Abubakar will talk part in the JPSM technical meeting.