Sudan

Parties commit to withdrawal of unauthorized forces in Abyei and deployment of Joint Integrated Units

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KADUGLI, 08 May: The Abyei Joint Technical Committee (JTC) under the chairmanship of the United Nations Mission In Sudan (UNMIS) Force Commander Major General Moses Bisong Obi, held its first meeting today to discuss a timeframe for the effective deployment of Joint Integrated Units (JIUs) and the withdrawal of all unauthorized forces from the Abyei Area.

The JTC agreed that the withdrawal of all unauthorized forces and deployment of JIUs will begin on Tuesday 10 May and will be completed by 17 May. The JTC will then meet in Abyei on 12 May to assess the withdrawal and deployment process, while reconvening again to confirm and ensure the completion of the exercise on 17 May.

“I believe there has been a commitment from the parties and that has been reflected in the way the meeting went today,” Maj. Gen Obi said after the meeting. “There was good will from both sides and we hope to follow-up on this spirit,” he added.

The meeting agreed that both parties will create a conducive environment by de-escalating tensions and speaking to their respective communities on the ground regarding the implementation of the Kadugli Agreements, and ensuring freedom of access for UNMIS.

The JTC was established on 13 April to oversee the implementation of the Kadugli Agreements of 13 and 17 January and the Abyei Agreement of 4 March, 2011.