Sudan sides agree to demilitarize Abyei

Khartoum has conditionally agreed to withdraw its troops from the disputed Abyei district.

Last Updated: Jun 13, 2011, 22:40 PM IST

Juba: Khartoum has conditionally agreed
to withdraw its troops from the disputed Abyei district, the
south`s information minister said on Monday, on the second day of
top-level talks in Ethiopia.

"We have information that they have accepted to
withdraw from Abyei as long they agree on the specific
arrangement with regards to the Abyei administration," Barnaba
Marial Benjamin told the independent Sudan Radio Service.

"What troops that will be put to replace the Sudanese
Armed forces (SAF -- the northern army) when they withdraw,
they will discuss the details of that security arrangement,"
Benjamin said.

"I think they have accepted the principle that they
have to withdraw," Benjamin added.

Northern troops overran the flashpoint border district
on May 21, in response to an attack on a convoy of SAF troops
and UN peacekeepers, prompting more than 100,000 people,
mostly pro-southern Dinka Ngok farmers, to flee from the
region, according to UN estimates.

PTI