UN official calls for calm in southern Sudan after outbreak of violence
12 December 2008 (UN News Service)
The top United Nation official in Sudan today called for calm following yesterday's fatal incident involving Sudanese military battalions and police units in the Abyei area, which was beset by conflict earlier this year.
Ashraf Qazi, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sudan, asked all parties and residents of the area to offer their full support to the Abyei administration in restoring law and order after the incident, which led to one death and several injuries among the units that integrate members of the Sudanese military and the former southern rebels known as the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).
The so-called joint integrated units (JIUs) and joint integrated police unit (JIPUs) were established under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the country's decades-long civil war.
Deadly fighting broke out in May in Abyei, an oil-rich area in central Sudan whose status was not fully resolved under the CPA, leading to a peace agreement the following month aimed at restoring stability to the region and spurring civilians who had fled as a result of the violence to start to return.
Mr. Qazi strongly urged the parties to take all necessary measures to avoid any further outbreaks of violence, and to ensure that the incident does not impede the peaceful implementation of the Abyei road map, according to a press release from the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).
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