August 31, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North decided to unilaterally cease hostilities for one month period in response to the foods that hit the country including South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
- In this Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013 photo, a Sudanese man wades his way through flood water in Khartoum, Sudan. Heavy rains this week have flooded roads in the capital Khartoum and other parts of the country. (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)
"The SPLA-N concerned about the flood disaster all over Sudan and especially in the areas of its military presence has decided to declare a unilateral cessation of hostilities from 11:59pm on the 31st of August to 11:59pm on the 30th of September", announced Yasir Arman, the SPLM-N’s secretary general in a statement he emailed to Sudan Tribune.
"This unilateral cessation of hostilities does not include the moving targets and does not prejudice acts of self defence", he pointed out.
Arman further said that SPLA-N commander-in-chief Malik Agar had already issued the order of the truce, adding that the rebel fighters are ordered to "help the civilian populations in whatever way possible, especially in South Kordofan/Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile".
Heavy rains and floods affected over 320,000 civilians, according to a report released by the UN WHO on 21 August. However reports continue to mention that additional areas are hit by this natural disaster.
Humanitarian assistance from international community and Arab states continue to arrive in the country amid reports that the number of people killed by the floods has reached 100 victims.
The foreign ministry also confirmed the death of four Burkina Faso soldiers killed in West Darfur state near the Chadian border as they were escorting humanitarian aid to affected civilians in the region.
Expression the SPLM-N grave concern by the humanitarian situation, Arman said the disastrous flood situation exposed "the corruption of the National Congress government when it comes to the infrastructure".
The Sudanese government and SPLM-N rebels failed to reach a ceasefire agreement and continue to disagree on how to allow humanitarian access to affected civilians in the rebel controlled areas.
UN agencies, African Union and Arab League launched a humanitarian initiative in this respect, but Khartoum demands to control the whole operation while the SPLM-N rejects its intervention in this operation, suggesting to include a UN force deployed in Abyei for logistical purposes as the Arab and African monitors will ensure that the food will only be delivered to civilians.