From allAfrica, March 3, 2011:
A senior United Nations official today deplored renewed clashes in Sudan’s contested Abyei region, whose status North and South Sudan have pledged to solve by the end of March.
Abyei, straddling northern and southern Sudan, was due to have voted in a separate referendum in January, when the South opted for secession, on which side it would join. But failure to establish a referendum commission and lack of agreement on who could vote precluded a ballot.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for Sudan Haile Menkerios said the recent fighting clearly violated the letter and spirit of agreements the two sides reached in January to resolve the dispute, and he urged them to fully implement the accords, including setting up a high-level committee to prevent a recurrence.
“The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) stands ready to assist the parties in this endeavour,” he said in a statement.