JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — The U.S., Norway, and the UK are urging the government of South Sudan to withdraw its troops from the disputed region of Abyei amid violence in which at least 27 people have been killed in recent days.
“We renew our calls upon the transitional government (of South Sudan) to urgently withdraw its troops in line with its commitments” as part of the deal for South Sudan’s independence in 2011, their embassies in South Sudan said in a statement Monday.
Inter-communal and cross-border clashes have escalated since South Sudan deployed its troops to Abyei in March.
The statement cited concern over “ongoing violence” in Abyei’s Rumameer county, as well as Twic county in South Sudan’s Warrap state. South Sudanese troops in Abyei increase the presence of weapons there, threatening the region’s demilitarized status, it said.
Oil-rich Abyei is claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan.