Sudan: UN deplores new clashes in Abyei region

New York, US (PANA) - UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sudan, Haile Menkerios, has deplored renewed clashes in Sudan’s contested Abyei region, whose status North and South Sudan have pledged to solve by the end of March.

Abyei, straddling northern and southern Sudan, was due to have voted in a separate referendum in January, when the South opted for secession, on which side it would join.

However, failure to establish a referendum commission and lack of agreement on who could vote precluded a ballot.

Menkerios said in a statement issued on Thursday, the recent fighting clearly violated the letter and spirit of agreements the two sides reached in January to resolve the dispute.

He urged them to fully implement the accords, including setting up a high-level committee to prevent a recurrence, adding "the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) stands ready to assist the parties in this endeavour.”

According to media reports, no fewer than 10 people were killed when a militia attacked a police post in Abyei, with a top government official, saying the attackers were supported by the northern Sudanese government.

Another report also stated that the tribesmen involved in the attack said it was provoked by the southern government.
-0- PANA AA/BOS 3March2011

03 march 2011 16:20:57

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