Ageement Reached on Sudan’s Abyei Region

Posted June 20th, 2011 at 11:10 am (UTC-5)
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The two sides in the dispute over Sudan's Abyei region have signed an agreement after several days of negotiations in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

Their accord calls for the oil-rich region to be demilitarized and for Ethiopian peacekeepers to be deployed there.

Negotiators, led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, became deadlocked on Sunday over the question of how the border region will be policed after southern Sudan's independence on July 9.

Mr. Mbeki is scheduled to brief the U.N. Security Council during a video conference later Monday. The Security Council is to issue a mandate that would allow the Ethiopian peacekeeping force to enter Abyei.

Separate negotiations aimed at halting the fighting in the Sudanese border state of Southern Kordofan are in difficulty, with both sides said be hardening their positions. Mr. Mbeki earlier predicted a humanitarian cease-fire was about to be imposed.

It has been more than a week since Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and southern leader Salva Kiir agreed in principle to demilitarize the oil-rich Abyei region and allow an Ethiopian peacekeeping force deployed in the territory. The deal was to have been signed last Saturday.