News24

US presses for peacekeepers in Abyei

2011-06-20 22:33

New York - The United States will quickly propose a UN Security Council resolution giving UN backing to a proposed Ethiopian peacekeeping force for the troubled Sudanese region of Abyei, US ambassador Susan Rice said on Monday.

"We want to underscore the urgency of Ethiopian troops deploying immediately to Abyei" under UN auspices, Rice told a Security Council debate on Sudan where a north-south accord on Abyei was announced.

"The United States will soon circulate a draft Security Council resolution for council consideration to authorize creation of this proposed interim security force," Rice said.

African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki told the Security Council that the Khartoum government and southern Sudan had signed an accord on Monday to demilitarize Abyei, which is disputed by the two sides.

Northern troops occupied Abyei on May 21 and tens of thousands of people have fled their homes, mainly to the south.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the Sudan accord.

Ban "calls on the parties to abide in full by its provisions to demilitarize the area" and provide "full cooperation" with the UN mission and Ethiopia in Abyei, said his spokesperson Martin Nesirky.