February 24, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - United Nations representative and humanitarian coordinator in Sudan reiterated on Monday the need to stop the fighting in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan to enable aid agencies to conduct a vaccination campaign and deliver food for the affected civilians.
Ali Al-Za’tari, in a statement issued on 13 February welcomed the resumption of peace talks between the government and the rebel SPLM-N in Addis Ababa and urged the two parties to declare "an immediate cessation of hostilities" allowing humanitarian teams to reach civilians in the rebel controlled areas.
"Once agreement for a viable cessation of hostilities has been reached, the United Nations in Sudan stands ready to provide such assistance without delay and once peace is established full development efforts should be started immediately," he stressed.
The head of UN mission on Monday met with the presidential aide Abdel Rhaman Al-Mandi to discuss the humanitarian situation in the Two Areas, and the stalled peace talks with the SPLM-N rebels to end the conflict there.
During the meeting, Al-Za’tari pointed to UN reports about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Two Areas and proposed to consider reviving a campaign to immunize children against polio and to deliver humanitarian assistance to the needy there, SUNA reported on Monday.
He further expressed his readiness to visit "the two regions with colleagues from the United Nations with the consent of both parties," the report further said.
In its report of February 2014, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) said the recent fighting between the Sudanese army and the rebels last December displaced at least 20,000 people from SPLM-N held areas in the Nuba Mountains to government controlled areas.
The two warring parties are supposed to resume direct talks by the end of February as the African Union mediators proposed a new framework agreement.