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Tripartite partners voice concern over Sudan’s rejection to renew humanitarian deal

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November 7, 2012 (KHARTOUM)— The three parties of the humanitarian initiative for South Kordofan and Blue Nile have voiced their concern following statements by a Sudanese officials saying his government will not extend a three month deal to reach civilians in the rebel held areas.

Sudanese government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N) failed to implement a deal brokered by the African mediators signed with the UN agencies, African Union and Arab League last August.

The three-month-agreement provides to deliver food and other humanitarian needs to the civilians in the areas held by the SPLM-N in South Kordofan’s Nuba Mountains and some areas in Blue Nile. Khartoum. however, refused to involve the rebels in the delivery process as the SPLM-N called for aid to be transported through South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Last Tuesday, the Agence France Presse reported statements by Suleiman Abdel Rahman, Sudan’s humanitarian commissioner, confirming the expiry of the humanitarian memorandum. He further denied the humanitarian crisis in the rebel controlled areas saying the situation "is at the natural level".

"The United Nations, the African Union and the Arab League are concerned by reports in the media, which cite the Sudanese Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs saying that the tripartite memorandum of understanding on humanitarian aid will not be extended," UN Spokesperson Martin Nesirky on Wednesday in reaction to these statements.

Mesirky disclosed that the Tripartite members have requested an extension of the humanitarian deal so that they can continue working on the initiative with the Sudanese government and the SPLM-North to deliver aid to the affected civilians in the war zones in the two states.

He further reaffirmed the readiness of UN agencies to provide "life-saving assistance to all in people affected by the conflict, when the security situation permits."

The three partners said they are waiting to get a response from the SPLM-N over their final proposal to start the operational phase of the humanitarian deal. Also, Khartoum objected the security arrangements proposed in the plan.

(ST)

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