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North, south Sudan agree to demilitarize Abyei

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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — An official with the African Union in Ethiopia says north and south Sudan have agreed to demilitarize the disputed region of Abyei and to allow an Ethiopian peacekeeping team to come in.

Barney Afako, spokesman for former South African President Thabo Mbeki, said Monday the agreement was reached after two days of talks. Mbeki is helping lead the negotiations.

Earlier on Monday U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. wants to see northern troops withdraw from the disputed central region of Abyei, and would welcome Ethiopian peacekeepers being sent in.

Southern Sudan secedes from the north July 9 but tensions have been rising over border issues.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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