No decision to withdraw peace-keeping troops from Abyei: Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa, 23 May 2014 (WIC) –The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said Ethiopia has not made a decision to withdraw its peace-keeping troops from the disputed oil-producing Abyei region.

MoFA spokesperson Ambassador Dina Mufti denied reports that the Ethiopian government has threatened to withdraw its peace-keeping mission in Abyei, a region claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan.

“As of yet, there is no decision made to abandon our peace-keeping mission and withdraw from the region,” Dina told journalists during his bi-monthly press conference.
The 4,200-strong Ethiopian brigade were deployed to the region following an agreement signed between the Sudanese government and Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) in June 2011 to demilitarize the region and allow Ethiopian troops monitor the peace.

The Ethiopian troops are operating under the auspices of The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei, or UNISFA.

“Our mission there focuses on the rehabilitation of the Misseriya and Dinka tribes [affected by the conflict] and the establishment of a joint administrative arrangement,” Dina said. “Our mandate ends when both are achieved.”
However, Dina admitted that Ethiopia rues the “delay” in support from “concerned international organs” for the mission in Abyei.

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