The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) today welcomed the decision by both sides in the disputed area of Abyei to form a joint committee to oversee the implementation of an earlier agreement on the withdrawal of unauthorized armed forces from the area.
Meeting in Khartoum, both parties agreed on a Joint Technical Committee (JTC) to implement of the Kadugli Agreement reached in January, which calls for the deployment of Joint Integrated Units (JIUs) from the armed forces of the northern-based Government of Sudan and the Government of Southern Sudan, which administers the south.
Under the Kadugli Agreement, JIUs should not include members of units involved in the 2008 clashes in Abyei or elements that may have a conflict of interest regarding the Abyei dispute.
The JTC is scheduled to have its first meeting in Abyei on Monday and UNMIS will provide the necessary assistance required to facilitate the implementation of decisions agreed upon today.
Recent unrest in Abyei has centred around tensions between the Misseriya and Ngok Dinka ethnic communities, with disputes over land rights to the area.
The tensions have been exacerbated by the controversy over a referendum that would give residents of Abyei a chance to decide whether to remain part of the north or join the Southern Sudan, which voted in January to secede.