US says Sudan move into Abyei was premeditated

By the Associated Press | May 26, 2011 | 10:00 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.S. ambassador says the Sudanese government's takeover of the disputed border town of Abyei increasingly appears to be premeditated.

Susan Rice said government forces used an attack by southern forces on a northern convoy last week as a "pretext" to move into the town in the oil-rich Abyei region on the border between Sudan's Arab-dominated north and mainly ethnic African south.

She said Thursday after returning from Sudan that the occupation of Abyei town violates the 2005 peace agreement that ended the north-south civil war.

Rice said Abyei's occupation won't affect South Sudan's independence on July 9.

But she warned that if northern forces don't withdraw, the Security Council is likely to consider action in response.