Agreement on Delivery of Humanitarian Aid in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan States
The Sudanese government agreed to the tripartite initiative of the United Nations, African Union and the Arab League to provide humanitarian assistance in the affected areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, according to nine general principles, which include commitment to the sovereignty of Sudan.
The said approval came during a meeting held in Khartoum by the Coordinating Committee between the Humanitarian Aid Commission and UN agencies.
Principles that were agreed upon emphasize the obligation of Khartoum in preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, its right to maintain security, enforce the law and its right to ensure the access to food and humanitarian aid for all those affected by the conflict without discrimination and to work on the immediate cessation of armed conflict through an integrated approach.
Government provides humanitarian aid:
The government confirmed its commitment to provide humanitarian aid the affected areas in the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, and commitment to the principles that have been agreed upon at the meeting held in Khartoum between the Humanitarian Aid Commission and United Nations agencies at, besides the partnership between the government and other initiative parties to study technical arrangements to solve the humanitarian problems in the affected areas and the need to agree on a timetable for humanitarian operations for a fixed period of time.
Principles included the adoption of a joint plan for providing assistance between the government and the three parties and the adoption of enforcing law, regulations and guidelines of humanitarian action of the Government of Sudan in force in the two states, where the government has developed a specific action plan to implement the initiative with the three partners.
Khartoum had refused to allow access of humanitarian aid to areas controlled by SPLM, citing that humanitarian aid will reach SPLA in the areas of the Nuba Mountains.
Tripartite initiative includes the presence of Arab and African observers, aid workers from the UN agencies and NGOs that will operate in the delivery of aid to civilians suffering from the lack of access of food to their areas due to the war.
Sudan had demanded the SPLM consent to a cease-fire to allow the work of aid organizations, while the movement has rejected the said condition in principle.
Sudan notifies the Security Council:
Sudan Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Dafallah Al-Haj said that he told the UN Security Council on the consent of his country on the said initiative for the provision of humanitarian assistance to affected citizens in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.
He said he sent two letters to both President of the Security Council and the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs notifying them on the approval.
The initiative, approved by the representatives of the Government of Sudan, Arab League, African Union and the United Nations, based on relief of the two regions, according to the nine principles.
UN welcomes the agreement:
UN welcomed the Government's agreement on the tripartite proposal (UN, AU, and AL) to provide relief for those affected in the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, expressing commitment to work in complete coordination with the Government of Sudan to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by events in the two states.
Khartoum calling for a cease-fire in the two regions:
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Karti stressed the importance of cessation of hostilities and military actions so that the delivery of humanitarian aid to be less serious.
During a meeting with UN Secretary-General Envoy, Haile Menkerios, Karti said that the government takes great interest in the humanitarian situation of its citizens, regardless of their areas and its commitment to deliver humanitarian aid to them.
SPLM had called for international community to pressure the Sudanese government, which refuses to allow humanitarian aid to the areas controlled by the movement, on the grounds that humanitarian aid will be used to feed the movement's fighters as well.
Sudan has demanded cease-fire in the area until the distribution of humanitarian aid, but the movement was officially rejected this proposal, noting that it is ready to accept a cease-fire when it turns out that this is necessary for the distribution of humanitarian aid.
The two parties exchange accusations of exploiting the humanitarian situation for their political and military goals, where the SPLM fears that the SAF exploits the truce to strengthen their troops, while Sudan says the movement refuses to stop shooting as they want to gain new military because they are under international pressure to enter into negotiations with Khartoum.
A formula to take into account the reservations of the government:
Menkerios affirmed desire to provide humanitarian aid to the needy in both areas controlled by the government and insurgents, indicating that the efforts focused to reach a formula to take into account the reservations of the Sudanese government.
Menkerios discussed with Karti the results of his contacts with the various parties related to the humanitarian situation in the two regions and success of the tripartite initiative after the approval of the government, pointing out that part of the communications and efforts focus on an end to armed action, indicating to the difficulty of distributing food and humanitarian aid in surging situation.
The UN official reviewed the efforts made by African Panel, led by Thabo Mbeki to mediate between the two countries, as well as his participation in the Security Council meeting which was held recently to discuss the relationship between the two countries, praising the positive results of the last round of negotiations
Al Bashir reiterates approval of the initiative:
President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omar Al Bashir reiterated, during his address to the AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Sudan's acceptance of the tripartite initiative put forward by the AU, AL, and UN for addressing the humanitarian situation in the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.
By Ibrahim Al-Jack, 17/07/2012