Khartoum — The command of integrated military forces between north and south Sudan will form an investigation committee to probe recent incidents of violence in the contested central area of Abyei.
At least ten people were killed and several others injured on Sunday as a result of armed clashes between members of the cattle-herding Arab tribe of Misseriya and local police in Sudan's flashpoint area of Abyei which is contested by north and south Sudan.
More people died yesterday as violence spread, according to reports by local press in Khartoum.
The Joint Defense Council (JDC), which supervises the evenly-composed Joint Integrated Units (JIU) established under the 2005's Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between north and south Sudan, on Monday announced it would form a committee to investigate the violence.
The announcement was made to local reporters by JDC spokesman Aiwain Alier, who also said that the council intends to deploy joint units northward of Dafra oilfield in order to safeguard movement of Misseriya herdsmen and voluntary return of southerners.
Separately, Alier revealed that plans were underway to relocate JIU's components of north and south Sudan's armies to their respective territories by a deadline of April 9.
Alier said that the council had already started relocating two brigades of the JIU currently stationed in Khartoum and Juba, adding that the ongoing relocation process is expected to be complete by March 7.
He further explained that the Khartoum-stationed JIU forces of South Sudan army, Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), would move to Kosti town in central Sudan to take the ferry back to the south, whereas South Sudan-based JIU forces of north Sudan army would begin to gather in Juba in order to depart from the south.
According to the spokesman, the council had decided to complete withdrawal of all JIU by a deadline of 9 April.
South Sudan is expected to declare official independence from the north in July this year after the region's citizens voted overwhelmingly to secede from the north in a referendum in January.