[Dehai-WN] VOA: UN Calls on Khartoum, Juba to Withdraw from Abyei

[Dehai-WN] VOA: UN Calls on Khartoum, Juba to Withdraw from Abyei

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2011 14:49:02 +0200

UN Calls on Khartoum, Juba to Withdraw from Abyei

Margaret Besheer | United Nations

· October 07, 2011

Read - http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2011/sc10406.doc.htm


Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, presents
to the Security Council the Secretary-General's report on the situation in
Abyei, Sudan, October 6, 2011.

The United Nations is calling on Sudan and South Sudan to comply with
redeployment agreements and to immediately withdraw their forces from the
disputed and oil-rich Abyei region.

The new U.N. peacekeeping chief, Hervé Ladsous, told the 15-member U.N.
Security Council Thursday that a contingent of Ethiopian troops deployed to
Abyei to deter clashes between the two Sudanese sides has not observed any
significant progress on the withdrawal of armed forces from the area.

“The Sudan Armed Forces and the SPLM are present respectively in the north
and south of the Kiir/Bahr al-Arab river," said Ladsous. "UNISFA has not
observed significant movements across the river or skirmishes between the
two forces, however the climate remains tense.”

Ladsous, who took up his duties four days ago, said the withdrawal is
essential to facilitate the return of the more than 100,000 internally
displaced persons, to create conditions for a peaceful seasonal migration of
the Misseriya tribe, and to build confidence among the parties.

He also reminded Khartoum and Juba that under the terms of a June 20th
agreement, their armed forces are to withdraw from Abyei and the Ethiopian
force, known by its acronym UNISFA, is to be the sole military presence in

Almost 1,800 of the 4,200 mandated UNISFA troops are on the ground in Abyei
and have begun operations.

South Sudan’s envoy, David Buom Choat, told the council that his country has
fully complied with its obligations and has redeployed its troops south of
Abyei to Warap State.

“The SAF must now withdraw immediately from the Abyei area," he said. "We
respectfully request the Council to set a deadline for this withdrawal, and
to hold whoever violates the deadline accountable.”

Sudan’s ambassador, Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, said his government’s forces
did not enter Abyei in order to remain there indefinitely and would pull
out. But he cautioned that their withdrawal must be in tandem with the full
deployment of the UNIFSA forces in order to avoid a security vacuum in the

The fate of Abyei was left undecided when South Sudan split from the north
in July following a January referendum on independence. A referendum was
originally also planned in Abyei for the population to determine which
country they wanted to belong to, but the vote was never held, mainly
because of disputes over who would be eligible to vote.

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