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New York - The UN Security Council on Thursday welcomed Sudan and South Sudan’s withdrawal of military forces from the disputed Abyei border region and also called for the pullout of police.
South Sudan won independence from Sudan last year as part of a 2005 peace treaty that ended decades of war that killed 2 million people. But the neighbouring nations drew close to full-scale war over unresolved issues of oil revenues and their disputed border following South Sudan's capture of the oil-rich town of Heglig in April.
Negotiations between the rivals fell apart following the capture of Heglig, which has since been retaken by Sudan. But talks under African Union auspices resumed this week and the Security Council said in a press statement after closed-door briefings and consultations that it welcomed the new talks.
The Security Council adopted a resolution on May 17 calling for both countries to resolve the status of Abyei and demanding the finalisation of a jointly-run administration and police force for the disputed region. It also extended the mission of the 4 000-strong UN peacekeeping force in Abyei for six months. -