Building on fire in Abyei
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Sudan: The tug of war in Abyei

24 May 2011 Last updated at 10:27 BST

The new state of South Sudan that is due to come formally into being on July 9th is borne of a turbulent past, and on the eve of its birth is still mired in violence.

After decades of civil war with the north, it voted to go its separate way, yet now it finds itself fighting northern troops again over the disputed border region of Abyei.

Khartoum has sent troops to the area, which the south calls an illegal invasion. From Khartoum, James Copnall reports.

Speaking in this report are: Amin Hassan Omar, Sudan's Minister of State for Presidential Affairs; Gerard Araud, French Ambassador to the United Nations and Mahjoub Mohamed Salih, editor, Al Ayam newspaper