Partial agreement reached on Abyei
The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in northern Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) have agreed to establish a joint committee to explore ways to prevent further clashes in the disputed border region of Abyei.
The region was occupied earlier last week by northern forces, but South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir made it clear that the south would not be provoked and refused to send in his troops.
The agreement was reached between south Sudan’s Vice president Riek Machar and north Sudan’s Vice president Ali Osman Mohamed Taha in Khartoum.
One suggestion being mooted to defuse the crisis in the oil rich region is to send in Ethiopian peacekeepers to act as a buffer between the two sides. Ethiopia is one of the few countries trusted by both sides and the peacekeepers could come under the remit of the United Nations or the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African authority.