May 22, 2011 / 11:26 AM / 8 years ago

North Sudan says its forces seize disputed Abyei

KHARTOUM, May 22 (Reuters) - Sudan’s northern army has taken control of the disputed Abyei region and is clearing it of armed groups from the South, a minister from the northern government said on Sunday.

“The Sudanese armed forces control Abyei and are cleansing it of illegal forces,” Amin Hassan Omar, a minister of state for presidential affairs, told reporters in Khartoum.

Control of oil-rich and fertile Abyei has been the main point of dispute between northern and southern Sudan ahead of plans for the South to become an separate state on July 9 following a January referendum on independence. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Peter Graff)

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