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UN Condemns Sudan For Taking Over Abyei


A machinegun-mounted truck manned by members of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) drive past burning businesses and homesteads in the center of Abyei, central Sudan in this handout photograph released by United Nations Mission in Sudan on May 28, 2011

A machinegun-mounted truck manned by members of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) drive past burning businesses and homesteads in the center of Abyei, central Sudan in this handout photograph released by United Nations Mission in Sudan on May 28, 2011

The U.N. Security Council is condemning Sudan's government for seizing control of the oil-rich Abyei region last month.

The council Friday called on Sudan's military to stop all looting, burning and illegal resettlement in the region and to withdraw its forces immediately.

It described Sudan's military operations in Abyei a "serious violation" of the 2005 peace agreement between north and south Sudan.

North Sudanese forces seized control of the contested and oil-rich Abyei region in May, and has rejected calls from the United States, United Nations and south Sudan to remove its troops.

The Security Council warned that those responsible for violations of international law in Abyei will be held accountable.

It also said that because of the ongoing insecurity in Abyei it believes that both sides would benefit from the continued presence of U.N. troops in the region

Sudan informed the United Nations in New York earlier this week that it wants the U.N. peacekeeping force on its southern border to leave its territory when south Sudan becomes independent.

South Sudan is set to declare independence on July 9 after voting to split from the north in a January referendum. Abyei was scheduled to decide at the same time on whether to join the north or the south, but that referendum failed to happen because the sides could not agree on who was eligible to vote.

North and south Sudan fought a 21-year civil war that ended in 2005.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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