4200 Ethiopian troops to monitor Sudanese Abyei withdrawal


Posted on June 29, 2011 08:34

Ethiopia will soon start deploying its troops to the Abyei region of Sudan to help in the demilitarisation of the volatile area.

Ethiopia will soon start deploying its troops to the Abyei region of Sudan to help in the demilitarisation of the volatile area.

The decision to deploy peace keepers was reached after negotiations between South and North Sudanese officials, in Addis Ababa on June 12 at a mini summit aimed at finding a solution to the unfolding crisis.?

United Nations’ Security Council (UNSC) on Monday approved the plan to deploy about 4,200 troops to monitor the withdrawal of Sudanese forces from the oil rich Abyei region.

Ethiopian officials had announced that they were awaiting a go ahead to send troops to the troubled area.

The approval by the UNSC gives Ethopia the green light to deploy its troops to the area with immediate effect.

Officials in the Horn of Africa country have suggested that plans are underway to start the deployment by the end of this week.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi brokered the agreement between the two sides almost a fortnight ago.

“We are only days away from deploying our peace force to the region and we are doing every logistical preparation which will enable us to successfully accomplish our mission to Abyei,” said Major General Gezahegn Abera who is the head of logistic affairs in Ethopia’s Ministry of Defence.

Ethiopia has, in the past, deployed troops for similar missions in South Korea, Rwanda, Burundi and Liberia.?According to the UN resolution, the Ethiopian troops will be in Abyei for six-months.

The resolution also allows the peacekeepers to use force in self-defense as well as in the protection of civilians.?But the troops are under no obligation to monitor compliance with human rights laws.

Instead, it is the duty of the UN secretary general to ensure effective monitoring of human rights in the conflict zone.

South Sudan is expected to secede from the north on July 9, 20 after it voted overwhelmingly for the creation of two separate states.

Both sides still need to agree on how to handle the polarised region of Abyei including oil revenue sharing, and a referendum.

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