3 June 2012

Sudan: South Sudan Dismiss Khartoum Claims of Police Leaving Abyei

Photo: UN Photo/Stuart Price
Homes burning in Abyei town during May (file photo).

The South Sudan Army spokesman Col onel Philip Aguer Panyang dismissed Khartoum claims of police forces leaving Abyei town on Friday.

He said that the Sudan armed forces are redeploying in other areas within Abyei town instead of withdrawing completely. He acknowledged the presence of the Sudanese military forces in Abyei town.

Aguer told The Citizen that the Khartoum government is deceiving the world by lying about the police withdrawing from Abyei. He said the Sudan armed forces are redeploying in other areas out of Abyei town to reduce their presence and added that Abyei is a big area.

The army spokesman said when Sudan armed forces invaded Abyei last year there was no police presence only the military forces but now the Khartoum government is deceiving the international community by claiming that there was police. Aguer said that the army personnel are now moving about in police uniform to deceive the whole world.

The Sudanese denied the presence of police in Abyei ."We didn't have any police at all inside Abyei area, now or in the past," foreign ministry spokesman Al-Obeid Meruh told AFP on Thursday. "We only have an army, which we have withdrawn. And we are committed to what we have announced."

AFP reported that Sudanese police contingent has pulled out of the disputed Abyei area, Sudan's army said on Friday, after the foreign ministry denied their presence and the UN called for their withdrawal.

"This evening the 169 police redeployed outside of Abyei administration area," Sawarmi Khaled Saad, the Sudanese army spokesman, was quoted as saying by the official SUNA news agency. Said AFP news agent, "Now Abyei is free from any Sudanese military or police."

The UN Security Council on Thursday demanded that Sudan withdraw its armed police from Abyei amid warnings there is still "hair-trigger" tension between the Khartoum government and South Sudan.

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