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New York - The United Nations Security Council said on Thursday it had been informed that both Sudan and South Sudan had withdrawn their military forces from the contested border region of Abyei in order to lessen tensions between the two sides.
“Today we heard confirmation that forces from South Sudan had completely pulled out of Abyei, and those from Khartoum are also out of Abyei although there remained some police elements,” United States Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters following a Security Council meeting.
Rice said the remaining Sudanese police were supposed to leave on Friday.
“These are positive elements. We welcome them,” Rice said, noting that the two countries were to return to negotiations this week despite some remaining unresolved issues.
The Abyei region, rich in natural resources, has been claimed by the two countries since South Sudan seceded in July 2011 from Khartoum-ruled Sudan. - Sapa-dpa