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SPLM-N chief negotiator calls for international support to humanitarian access

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November 22, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) on Sunday called on the international community and rights activists to support its demand for unfettered humanitarian access to civilians in the war-affected areas.

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SPLM-N secretary general Yasir Arman addresses the joint opening session for talks on a comprehensive humanitarian turce in Sudan in Addis Ababa on Thursday November 19, 2015 (ST Photo)

"We call upon all friends of Sudan, the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile and of the SPLM-N and those who care about international humanitarian law (..) to stand up and raise their voices in support of the respect of international humanitarian law and the right of civilians for unhindered access to humanitarian assistance," said the SPLM-N chief negotiator Yasir Arman in a written message extended to Sudan Tribune on Sunday morning.

The Sudanese government negotiating team on Friday refused the proposal submitted by the mediators calling to sign a cessation of hostilities agreement and to allow humanitarian access to the needy in the rebel controlled area in the Two Areas.

The government chief negotiator since Friday while he was speaking at the opening session of the talks said they came to sign a final ceasefire agreement and to settle the outstanding issues in peace agreement of 2005.

According to aid groups, the conflict that erupted in South Kordofan and Blue Nile since 2011 have displaced over 700,000 civilians and 300,000 refugees in South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Also, Khartoum refused to allow aid groups to work in the SPLM-N held areas saying the rebels will benefit from the relief. The government delegation during the past rounds of talks kept saying that only a swift agreement on a final ceasefire will benefit to the affected civilians.

The SPLM-N secretary-general further regretted the absence of regional and international pressure on the Sudanese government to remake such deal.

"The government of Sudan today feels that the international community’s plate is full of many other issues from Syria, Libya, Iraq and many other places, and therefore no one is willing to put pressure on them," he said.

Arman in his statement referred to a ceasefire agreement in the Nuba Mountains the two warring parties signed in Bürgenstock, Switzerland on 19 January 2002 saying they call for a similar agreement ensuring "multiple access of humanitarian assistance".

"The parties shall facilitate humanitarian assistance through the opening up of humanitarian corridors and creation of conditions conductive to the provision of urgent humanitarian assistance to displaced persons and other affected persons" says Bürgenstock deal which was brokered by the United States and Swiss government.

Also the agreement tasked international monitors with the conduct of liaison with humanitarian organizations for the purpose of assisting with relief operations.

(ST)

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