Minister for Africa Henry Bellingham said:
“I welcome the news that the parties have signed the Abyei Interim Agreement, which should lead to swift withdrawal of Sudanese Armed Forces and the deployment of Ethiopian peacekeeping forces under a UN mandate. This is a positive step towards peace in Abyei, and towards full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. I urge the parties to redouble their efforts to reach agreement on all outstanding issues, including the status of Abyei, without delay. I reiterate my call for the parties to cease violence in Southern Kordofan and to grant and sustain full access to humanitarian aid.
I congratulate former President Mbeki, Prime Minister Meles, the AU High Level Implementation Panel and the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) on this agreement. I am grateful to them for their hard work on facilitating interim security arrangements for Abyei that will enable IDPs to return in safety, and also for their ongoing efforts to find a negotiated outcome for Southern Kordofan.”