Europe calls for calm in Sudan

June 21, 2011 at 1:25 PM
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BRUSSELS, June 21 (UPI) -- Agreements reached in Ethiopia regarding Sudan's disputed Abyei region should be implemented immediately, the president of the European Parliament said.

The Ethiopian government hosted high-level talks in Addis Ababa last week aimed to finding a solution to conflict surrounding the de facto border region of Abyei in Sudan. A deal reached Monday would allow Ethiopian peacekeepers to enter the region in place of rival Sudanese forces.

Soldiers from Sudan took control of Abyei last month after accusing fighters from the south of attacking its troops there.

Jerzy Buzek, president of the European Parliament, said in a statement he was "extremely concerned" about the spiral of violence engulfing Sudan.

"As in the past, civilians are bearing the brunt of this military escalation," he added.

Voters in South Sudan backed a referendum for independence in January. The referendum was part of a comprehensive peace agreement signed in 2005 that ended a brutal civil war in Sudan.

Buzek said escalating levels of violence in Sudan threatened to unravel progress made in recent years.

"I call on the Sudanese army and in particular President Omar al-Bashir to respect not only the letter but also the spirit of the CPA," he said.

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