October 19, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The 16-month conflict in Sudan’s border regions of South Kordofan and Blue Nile has displaced and severely affected 908,000 people, according to a new data by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
- FILE - Residents who fled fighting in South Kordofan gather outside UN offices in the state (AP PHOTOS)
In issue 40 of its Sudan weekly humanitarian bulletin, OCHA cited reports indicating that 175,000 refugees have fled to South Sudan and that another 38,000 to Ethiopia as a result of the conflict. In both government and rebel held areas, the report said that information from various sources indicates that a total of 908,000 people have been displaced or severely affected by the conflict.
The Sudanese government has blocked access of humanitarian assistance to areas controlled by the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) since the conflict in South Kordofan started in June 2011 and later spread to Blue Nile in early August.
In August this year, the government and the SPLM-N signed two memorandums of understandings with the Tripartite Initiative consisting of the UN, AU and the Arab League to facilitate the delivery of aid into rebel-controlled areas. But the implementation of the deal in SPLM-N controlled areas is yet to happen. OCHA report said that despite the various action plans that the Tripartite Initiative proposed, neither the government nor the SPLM-N have formally agreed to them.
“The Tripartite has made clear that it is ready to facilitate the immediate provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance once the Government and the SPLM-N agree to the plan and provide the necessary security guarantees” OCHA report reads.
SPLM-N spokesperson Arnu Loddi told Sudan Tribune on Friday that his group was not responsible for delays in implementing the deal. Instead he blamed the government saying it is procrastinating because it is preparing new military strikes against them.
Loddi also revealed that the Tripartite Initiative had rejected their calls for holding a meeting in New York to discuss the issue accusing the SPLM-N of seeking to politicize the issue of humanitarian assistance.