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SPLA troops start withdrawal from eastern Sudan

April 22, 2006 (HAMESH KOREB) — The first phase of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLA) withdrawal from Eastern Sudan to the Southern Sudan commenced on 20th April.

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SPLA troops before their departure to South Sudan from the east. (ST)

First batch of about 2500 soldiers and their families have commenced their move and today they have crossed Gedarref on their way to south.

In the implementation process of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), this is a significant step in the right direction. According to the CPA, the SPLA was to redeploy by 09 January 2006. But due to logistical delays and other unspecified reasons this move was delayed.

SPLA has informed that they will leave completely to the south by the end of May 2006. An interesting aspect in this redeployment is that the Sudan Armed Forces have provided vehicles for the move of SPLA troops from the East. SPLA has moved out even three of their tanks from this area.

What will happen to Hamesh Koreb once the SPLA quit completely is the point of concern now. There are reports that the rebel Eastern Front is ready to launch an attack when SPLA moves out from there. At same time SAF is also ready to move in.

(ST)