Home | News    Friday 25 October 2013

Polio campaign still hinges on joint agreement between Sudan, SPLM-N


October 24, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The United Nations resident and humanitarian coordinator in Sudan, Ali Al-Za’tari, has urged all parties involved in the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Niles states to set aside their political differences and allow a polio vaccination campaign to begin on schedule next month.

JPEG - 19.3 kb
An aid workers administers a polio vaccine to a Sudanese boy (Photo: AFP)

Al-Za’tari made the remarks in a statement released to mark World Polio Day on Thursday.

He confirmed that the Sudanese government had officially signed off on the terms of an agreement for a polio vaccination campaign due to get underway in the two areas on 5 November, but made no mention of a deal with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), suggesting the rebel group had yet to give the green light to start the campaign aiming to immunise children under five against polio and vitamin A deficiency.

“It is vital that every effort is made to ensure that this campaign goes ahead in November as planned”, Al-Za’tari said in the statement.

“Sudan’s future lies in the health of its children. This is an opportunity for all parties to put children’s health before politics and to ensure that this campaign goes ahead without delay”, he added.

Sudan was recently declared polio free, but outbreaks have been reoccurring in East Africa since April.

Three cases of polio have been detected in South Sudan - two in Northern Bahr el Ghazal and one in Eastern Equatoria and there are fears the virus may spread to Sudan.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF and Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) have long been working to put in place plans to deliver the two-week campaign, but the process has been painfully slow due to ongoing disagreements between the parties involved.

Negotiations received a boost last month after the SPLM-N dropped its demand that the operation be conducted cross-border from Ethiopia or Kenya.

The campaign will include rebel-held areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, where no immunisation programmes have been carried out since the military conflict began in 2011.

Earlier this month, the Sudanese Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) announced that it had reached an agreement with the members of the tripartite initiative - UN, African Union (AU) and Arab league - to carry out the vaccination operation.

The Sudanese government confirmed it would cease hostilities for two weeks next month in South Kordofan to allow the conduct of a vaccination campaign.

However, the SPLM-N has yet to outline arrangements for a temporary ceasefire agreement.

The two parties have also yet to agree on the mode of transporting vaccines and the local humanitarian workers who will participate in the operation.

The SPLM-N has demanded that the Sudanese government participate in direct talks on the AU-brokered humanitarian truce, but Khartoum refused the request, saying indirect talks through members of the tripartite are sufficient.

The vaccination campaign will target some 147,700 children in South Kordofan and 7000 in Blue Nile.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

Sudan’s removal from terror list taints U.S. values 2018-11-10 08:34:32 November, 9th, 2018 The Honorable Michael Richard Pompeo Secretary of State U.S. Department of State 2201 C St NW, Washington DC 20520 USA RESPONSE BY SUDAN LIBERATION MOVEMENT (SLM/A-AW) TO (...)

R-ARCISS: A Peace that divides the signatories and non-signatories 2018-11-10 07:58:28 By Tito Awen, Juba-South Sudan I keep wondering if peace can divide or unite the partners. I am not so young nor unmindful not to have known what happened after signing of the Comprehensive (...)

U.S. Move Ignores Sudan’s Abuses Against its Own People 2018-11-09 06:56:11 U.S. Considers Lifting Sudan’s ‘Terror State’ Designation By Jehanne Henry With all eyes on mid-term elections in the United States, almost no one noticed that on the same day the US State (...)


Latest Press Releases

Progress observed at end of second month of R-ARCSS implementation 2018-10-22 06:44:02 Press Release 21 October 2018 South Sudanese government released 24 detainees in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) (...)

4th Annual Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum Announced for 25th October 2018 2018-10-15 12:38:14 PRESS RELEASE OCTOBER 14, 2018 Africa’s leading entrepreneurship-focused philanthropic organisation, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has announced October 25, 2018, as the date for its (...)

Unity State community in Kenya supports Khartoum peace agreement 2018-08-17 08:33:21 PRESS STATMENT 14th Aug, 2018 Re: We shall Rally behind Khartoum Peace Agreement The Unity State Community Association in Kenya was established in 2010 to organize and mobilize the people of (...)


Copyright © 2003-2018 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.