Sudan rejects UN call for Abyei pullout

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KHARTOUM – Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Ahmad Karti has rejected a request by the UN Security Council to withdraw its troops from Abyei, the first response to those demands by a senior government official.

A displaced Sudanese family fleeing from the disputed oil-rich Abyei area on March 2. / AFP / Tim Freccia

“Sudan does not need to be asked to pull its army out of Abyei because this is a Sudanese territory,” Karti said in comments published late on Saturday by SUNA state news agency, echoing statements by President Omar al-Bashir.

“The army’s entering the area to handle the security situation there was necessitated by the continued security breaches committed by the other party,” he added, referring to the southern Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

Speaking in Khartoum after meeting his Egyptian counterpart Nabil al-Arabi, Karti repeated his ministry’s insistence the army would remain in the bitterly contested area until a comprehensive agreement is reached.

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