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– BBC

Sudan has once again urged the UN to replace Ethiopian peacekeepers in the disputed Abyei region, on the Sudan-South Sudan border, with another force from different countries, the state-owned Suna news agency has reported.

The proposal came during a meeting between Foreign Minister Mariam al-Mahdi and UN director Graham Maitland.

Ms Mahdi said this was necessary due to

“the current changes in relations with Ethiopia and the loss of its forces’ neutrality, which was essential to carry out the mission’s tasks”.

Last April Sudan demanded the replacement of the Ethiopian peacekeepers after accusing Addis Ababa of amassing troops in the eastern Al-Fashaga region, in Sudan’s eastern Al Qadarif State, an area disputed by both sides.

The UN Security Council established Unisfa in June 2011 and approved Ethiopian troops to be deployed in the region to oversee demilitarisation and maintaining security in the area.

The Abyei region lies on the border between South Sudan and Sudan.

It was accorded “special administrative status” after the end of the Second Sudanese Civil War between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). The war lasted 22 years, from 1983 to 2005.

Under the terms of the Abyei Protocol, the Abyei area was considered to be part of both South Sudan and Sudan on an interim basis.

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