International briefs: Sudan

THE UN Security Council has condemned the Sudanese government in Khartoum for taking control of a contested oil-rich region.

The Abyei region lies between what will be Sudan and South Sudan when the new country officially secedes on 9 July.

The council is calling on both sides to withdraw military forces from the area. Its statement blames both sides for the "rapidly deteriorating situation" and warns that those responsible for violations of international law in Abyei will be held accountable.

The council said it believes that both sides would benefit from the continued presence of the UN mission in the region beyond the new country's formation.

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