Conflict & Justice

South says Sudanese withdrawal from Abyei 'not complete'


Peacekeepers on patrol in Abyei where a clutch of proposals have been made all seeking to defuse the ongoing crisis.


Stuart Price/UNMIS

South Sudan has called on Sudan to remove police that remain in the disputed border region of Abyei – after the United Nations confirmed that Khartoum had pulled out 300 of its troops.

More from GlobalPost: Sudan to withdraw its troops from Abyei

South Sudan's information minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, told Radio France Internationale (RFI) that the Sudanese pullout was not complete.

“They have redeployed some of the troops out of Abyei, but they have left about two platoons of police … and they were not supposed to have any police there in the first place. The most important thing is that they must pull out completely.”

Benjamin told RFI that some soldiers had replaced their army uniforms with police uniforms.

Khartoum, which sent troops into Abyei a year ago, forcing 110,000 people to flee southwards, this week agreed to withdraw all of its soldiers from the territory, in line with a UN demand.

It announced the pullout ahead of talks with South Sudan in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, which are being led by the African Union mediator, Thabo Mbeki.

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However, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon also confirmed that Sudanese police were still stationed in Abyei, Agence France Presse reported.

Ban said that both Sudans needed to set up a joint administration for the area.