September 22, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — A bipartisan group of 38 Congressmen urged the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice to work for imposing sanctions against the Sudanese government because of its failure to allow humanitarian access to the Two Areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
- A girl and her brother sit in a cave shelter in Tess village in the rebel-held territory of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan May 2, 2012. (Reuters)
On 4 August the mediation announced that Sudanese government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) have reached an agreement to provide civilians in the rebel held areas with humanitarian assistance.
However until now the operation has not begun as the Sudanese government and tripartite committee, of UN agencies, Arab League and African Union, continue to hold meetings over its implementation.
The rebel SPLM-N called for an international operation from South Sudan or Ethiopia but the demand is rejected by Khartoum. Senior members of the SPLM-N rebels were recently in Washington and urged Congressmen to act on Sudan’s humanitarian crisis.
In their letter of 21 September, the lawmakers said they were concerned by the humanitarian crisis in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan reminding them that some 650,000 people have already been displaced or severely affected by the conflict in these border states.
After praising the Resolution 2046 and the threat to impose sanctions if its dispositions are not met, the Congressmen ask that "the Security Council’s principled position must be enforced in order to be credible. Accountability is key when lives hang in the balance."
The UN Security Council is to meet next week to assess the whole process including the talks between Khartoum government and rebels.
In a statement issued on 21 September, the 15 member council said it was gravely concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation in the states.
"The members of the Council once again stressed the urgency of immediately delivering humanitarian relief supplies to the affected civilian populations, so as to avoid any further suffering or loss of life," the statement said.
They further urged the two parties to "begin direct talks, urgently agree to and implement a cessation of hostilities, and create a conducive environment for further progress on political and security issues."
In Khartoum the Sudanese humanitarian commissioner Suleiman Abdel-Rahman told the official SUNA that they had reports that an aircraft belonging to a foreign aid group landed in the rebel-held town of Kauda without permission from the Sudanese government.
He also said that humanitarian assistance was recently delivered to the rebel-held areas through an unspecified neighbouring state or air drop operations.