Renewed Hope Deadlock on Sudan’s Abyei May be Resolved

Posted June 20th, 2011 at 10:35 am (UTC-5)
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A senior official involved in talks between Sudan's north and south over the oil-rich Abyei region says a deadlock may soon be resolved.

The official told VOA on Monday that progress had been made to break a stalemate during talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Negotiators became deadlocked on Sunday over the question of how the north border region will be policed after the south's scheduled independence on July 9.

South African President Thabo Mbeki is leading the talks and is scheduled to brief the U.N. Security Council during a video conference later on Monday. The Security Council may authorize the use of force to implement a security arrangement in Abyei.

The talks on Sudan are focused on settling issues that have yet to be resolved between the north and south less than three weeks before the nation splits.

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 had 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 on Saturday.