NAIROBI, Kenya – Ethiopia says it has started deploying peacekeepers to the contested region of Abyei, which lies between Sudan and South Sudan.
Dina Mufti, spokesman of Ethiopia’s foreign affairs ministry, said Thursday that the troops began a weeklong overland journey on July 7. Mufti said the battalion will “definitely be operational” Friday.
The deployment follows an agreement between leaders from Sudan and South Sudan signed last month to demilitarize the contested Abyei region and allow the Ethiopians to move in and monitor peace. The U.N. Security Council last month
authorized the deployment of a 4,200-strong Ethiopian peacekeeping force for six months.
South Sudan is the world’s youngest nation after gaining independence last Saturday, but key issues remain unresolved including Abyei’s future and the demarcation of borders.