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Sudanese armies move troops out of disputed Abyei.

July 4, 2008 (JUBA) — The northern and southern Sudanese armies redeployed troops outside the disputed area of Abyei after several days of delay from the date determined in a roadmap agreed on June 8.

SPLA soldiers redeploy south from the Abyei area, in line with the road map to resolve dispute over Abyei (By Mckulka, UNMIS)

According to the Abyei roadmap the two armies, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) have to be out of the area on 30 June in order to allow the return of the 50 thousands displaced people to their home town. The SPLA was the first to complete the withdrawal of its forces from Abyei on Thursday while the SAF began on Friday to redeploy troops from the area. SPLA Major General Daniel Parnyang on Thursday accused SAF of dragging feet and ignoring the deadline of 30 June. He further said that there had been misunderstanding over whether the forces were supposed to move out of Abyei area or Abyei town. "The withdrawal is out of Abyei area — their forces are inside, ours are along the border, but outside," Parnyang said. However Rabie Abdel Atti, an advisor to Sudanese minister of information said that technical problems were behind the delay of SAF withdrawal from the area. He also stressed that northern Sudan army will be soon out of the area. "The withdrawal of government forces has started and within a few days, this withdrawal will be completed," said Abdel Atti. "There is no difference between the two parties and the government is not insisting to keep troops in the Abyei area. This is not the situation." He added. Since last month the two parties deployed a battalion of joint units to control the disputed area after the withdrawal of the two armies. The United National had participated in the transportation of the troops, and also organized a ten-day training for it. At least 89 people were killed last May following a small disagreement that led to major fighting in Abyei and many parts of the town were burnt down. Also the inhabitants of the town were forced to flee the heavy fighting. (ST)

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Publication:Sudan Tribune (Sudan)
Date:Jul 8, 2008
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