UN urges Sudan, S. Sudan to pull troops from Abyei

October 7, 2011 04:02

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 6 (Reuters) - The new head of UN peacekeeping on Thursday urged Sudan and South Sudan to withdraw their troops from the disputed Abyei region as Western diplomats warned that the situation on their border was increasingly tense.

Last month a Sudanese army spokesman said Khartoum would not withdraw its army from Abyei by the end of September as expected by the United Nations, eliciting sharp criticism from its former civil war foe South Sudan.

"The parties (Sudan and South Sudan) must ... redouble their commitments to withdraw their armed forces, establish joint administration and allow recovery and reconciliation efforts in Abyei to begin," the new UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told the UN Security Council.

Sudan's army took Abyei in May in a show of force that triggered an exodus of more than 100,000 civilians after the southern army attacked an army convoy.

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