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UN Council Calls For Withdrawal of Fighters Along Sudan Border

The U.N. Security Council is demanding a withdrawal of all armed forces from the troubled Abyei region that is claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan.

In a statement Monday, the Council expressed grave concern about the security and humanitarian situation in the region, and condemned recent clashes there.

The Council demanded that South Sudan withdraw numerous militia forces from Abyei and for Sudan to withdraw its oil police officers from the region.

The United Nations has a peacekeeping force in the 10,000 square-kilometer region, which is prized by both Sudan and South Sudan for its fertile land and oil reserves.

Abyei's status has been in limbo since a 2005 peace agreement that ended a long civil war in the formerly unified Sudan.

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African heads of state, joined by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, sixth from left in front row, and UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon, third from right in front row, pose for a group photograph at the annual African Union summit held at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 30, 2015.

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