December 7, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese and international groups, and prominent rights activists Monday called on the UN chief and American president to hold the Sudanese government responsible for prevention humanitarian access to civilians in the war affected areas.
- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) meets with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office in Washington, D.C. on 4 August 2015 (UN Photo/Mark Garten)
In a letter extended to Ban Ki-moon and Barak Obama, the signatories said that blocking humanitarian access to civilians in the rebel held areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile should be recognized as a crime and violation of the international humanitarian law.
The letter seen by Sudan Tribune further says that the Sudanese government can be held accountable for this crime against humanity in line with the international law principles and treaties.
"Article 7 of the Rome Statute, the founding legal statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), sets forth crimes against humanity as including inhumane acts of intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health".
The International Criminal Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), in its judgment in Kristic, "found that the blocking of aid convoys was part of the “creation of a humanitarian crisis,” which, combined with crimes of terror and forcible transfers, incurred individual responsibility for inhumane acts and persecution as crimes against humanity" the signatories further stressed.
Also, they mention the UN Security Council Resolution 2046 (2012) on Sudan which strongly urges the warring parties in the Two Areas to comply with international humanitarian law and the guiding principles of emergency humanitarian assistance for safe, unhindered and immediate access of the United Nations and other humanitarian personnel to deliver equipment and supplies and to assist conflict-affected civilian populations.
Adding that the African Union Peace and Security Council has repeatedly urged the parties to respect human rights and International Humanitarian Law and to allow humanitarian assistance to reach those in need.
During the recent round of talks in Addis Ababa last November, the two parties failed to strike a deal on the Humanitarian access to the war zones.
The government refused the SPLM-N demand for "multiple access of humanitarian assistance",
saying relief operations can be conducted only from government-controlled areas.
"For obvious reasons, the people of the Two Areas do not trust the government of Sudan, and many parts of the population may well refuse to accept assistance that emanates from government-controlled areas. This will make assistance coming solely from government controlled areas ineffective and will undermine the very result that the international community is hoping to create," the letter said.
The call has been signed by 93 groups including Sudanese organization in the Diaspora, Act for Sudan, Humanity United United to End genocide and Waging Peace- London.
Among the signatories also, former U.S. special envoy to Sudan Andrew Natsios, human rights Lawyer and former UN special representative in Gaza, Bosnia and Lebanon Amin Mekki Medani, House of Lords member, Baroness (Caroline) Cox, Sudan researcher Eric Reeves, Lord Alton of Liverpool who is also a member of the All Party British Parliamentary Group on Sudan and former head of the UN in Sudan Mukesh Kapila.