Monday, May 23, 2011

Sudan confirms the military takeover of Abyei

Khartoum. .- The Sudanese government on Sunday confirmed the decision of the Abyei region, on the border between southern Sudan, undergoing a process of secession, and the rest of the country. The cease-fire of war between north and south provides for the demilitarization of Abyei. "The Sudanese armed forces are controlled Abyei and clearing it of illegal forces," stated the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Amin Hassan Omar, told the media from Khartoum.

Under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, Abyei only allows the presence of police officers and military personnel from Sudan and Southern Sudan through a joint force in cooperation with the UN. However, Juba and Khartoum has deployed its own troops and heavy weapons, according to satellite imagery and United Nations.

Last month, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said he would not recognize the independence of the new country until this region no longer claim sovereignty over Abyei, one of the highlights of the draft new Constitution of Southern Sudan. Sudan and South Sudan province have fought a civil war since 1955 for oil and ethnic and religious issues.

The conflict, which ended in 2005 with the signing of a ceasefire, killing two million people. The deal has enabled the holding of a referendum on self determination in southern Sudan that will culminate in July with the proclamation of independence.

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