UN: North, south Sudan to remove Abyei forces

May 9, 2011 13:22


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KHARTOUM - North and south Sudan have agreed to withdraw all unauthorized forces from the contested Abyei border region, the United Nations said, in an attempt to defuse tensions in the oil-producing flashpoint.

The south, where most follow Christian and traditional beliefs, overwhelmingly voted to declare independence from the mostly Muslim north in a referendum in January.

But both sides claim Abyei and have built up forces, beyond an agreed joint north-south unit, in the remote area. Analysts say Abyei is one of the likeliest places for conflict to erupt before the south secedes on July 9.

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