LONDON - Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Monday that the disputed Abyei border region could be a source of conflict with newly independent South Sudan if agreements are not respected.
Bashir told the BBC's Hardtalk programme he wanted UN peacekeepers to leave but welcomed a US-drafted resolution, unanimously approved by the UN Security Council last month, to deploy 4,200 Ethiopian troops to Abyei for six months."The Ethiopians have a mandate to keep peace in the zone, so we welcome the Ethiopian troops," he said, speaking through an interpreter.
Khartoum's forces seized Abyei with tanks and troops on May 21, causing tens of thousands of people to flee and drawing an international outcry.
South Sudan seceded from the north on Saturday but the countries have yet to agree on who owns Abyei, stirring fears of renewed conflict.