"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sudan agrees demilitirised zone for north-south border

Northern and southern Sudan have agreed to set up a demilitarised zone along their border to be jointly patrolled.

The African Union-mediated deal comes 10 days after northern troops seized the disputed border region of Abyei.

Details of the deal are still sketchy, but a BBC reporter say the fact that both sides are talking is positive.
Analysts have feared the Abyei dispute could reignite the civil war between the north and South Sudan, which is due to become independent in July.

The UN Security Council condemned the occupation of Abyei and called for the immediate withdrawal of northern troops from the oil-producing region also claimed by the south. 

Under the 2005 peace deal, which ended the 22-year civil war, Abyei was granted special status and a joint administration was set up in 2008 to run the area until a referendum decided its fate.

Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency says Abyei town has been "virtually emptied" of its population of between 50,000 and 55,000 people, and large numbers of fighters are present on the streets. 

Last week, South Sudan's humanitarian affairs minister said he estimated 150,000 people had fled from Abyei state and border regions fearing further attacks. The UN's currently overall figure is 60,000.

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