Clinton calls for peacekeepers in Abyei

2011-06-13 17:06
Dar es Salaam - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday endorsed the idea of a peacekeeping force in Sudan's disputed Abyei region and encouraged both sides to take up an Ethiopian offer of troops.

"The United States strongly believes a robust peacekeeping presence should be a central part of the security arrangements in Abyei," Clinton said before leaving Dar es Salaam on her Africa tour.

"The government of Sudan should urgently facilitate a viable security arrangement starting with the withdrawal of Sudanese Armed Forces," Clinton said, referring to the northern army.

"We would welcome both parties [north and south Sudan] agreeing to ask Ethiopia, which has volunteered to send peacekeepers, to do so as part of the UN mission," she said.

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir and south Sudan leader Salva Kiir have since Sunday been in talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa aimed at resolving the crises in the Abyei and another border region, South Kordofan, one month ahead of the south's independence.

Mediators described the talks as "tense" and said they were likely to last several more hours.

The talks come as the United Nations confirmed that the fighting of the past few days in volatile South Kordofan, the north's only oil-producing state, has spilled across the border into the south.

"Fighting including bombardments and artillery shelling has been reported in 11 of the 19 localities in Southern Kordofan state, and has spread to Pariang County in Unity State, southern Sudan," the UN humanitarian office (Ocha) said.

Clinton will meet with Kiir in Addis Ababa, an aide said, likely later Monday, but not with Bashir.

Key issues

Bashir has been charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes by the International Criminal Court in The Hague but refuses to recognise its authority, though his travels have been severely restricted.

South Sudanese officials have been saying the northern army has killed civilians in air strikes south of the border but UN sources had previously insisted the bombing was restricted to the north-south border area.

For eight days, heavy clashes have raged between the Sudanese Armed Forces and northern members of the former southern rebel army (the SPLA) in South Kordofan, the adjacent state to Unity north of the disputed border.

The south is due to proclaim full independence on July 09, under a peace deal after decades of conflict with the north, and the fighting threatens to overshadow the historic event, particularly if the southern army is drawn in.

The two sides have struggled to make progress on resolving those issues, of which the future status of Abyei remains the most sensitive and intractable.

Northern troops occupied the contested border region on May 21, in response to an attack on a convoy of northern army troops and UN peacekeepers, which was blamed on the army of the south.

An AU statement prior to the talks had indicated that the they would focus on Abyei, among other "key issues facing Sudan at this historic juncture".

"High on the agenda is the issue of Abyei, including the withdrawal of armed forces from the area and the dispatch of an African-led international mission to provide security, to provide conditions for the speedy return of displaced people and steps towards a final settlement of the status of the area," it said.

The violence in central Sudan has poisoned the atmosphere of the ongoing north-south negotiations in Ethiopia, according to sources close to the talk.

Read more on:    ocha  |  spla  |  hillary clinton  |  omar al-bashir  |  salva kiir  |  sudan  |  east africa
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

 
 

Men24.com

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.