EU praises Khartoum and Juba after rivals signed security arrangements

Soldiers from the U.N. peacekeeping in the oil-rich Abyei, Sudan, in May 23, 2008. (AFP)

The European Union welcomed Sudan and Southern Sudan’s efforts to come to an agreement on Friday and sign the implementation of security arrangements in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Both Khartoum and Juba decided to withdraw their military forces from a 14-mile-wide demilitarized zone between the two African countries later this month.

Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Sudan, Ambassador Tomas Ulicny, described the latest security measures as a ‘positive step’ towards the full implementation of all previously signed provisions, which look to resolve the outstanding post-secession issues between the two countries.

Ambassador Ulicny also urged Khartoum and Juba to continue addressing all other outstanding issues related to oil-rich Abyei and other bordering areas, in accordance with communiques issued by the African Union Peace and Security Council.

According to the 2005 peace agreement that ended Sudan’s two-decade civil war, Abyei residents were said to participate in a referendum to join either Sudan or South Sudan. However, conflicts on the eligibility of voters prevented a scheduled January 2011 referendum from taking place.

Last April, Khartoum and Juba were almost close to war after a series of air and ground gun battles.

Last Update: Sunday, 10 March 2013 KSA 22:28 - GMT 19:28