January 17, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) has declined a request by a number of international envoys to accept an American proposal paving the way towards the signing of a humanitarian agreement with the Sudanese government.
Washington since last November has proposed to the warring parties in the Blue Nile and the South Kordofan states that the USAID delivers medicines and some humanitarian relief to the civilians in the war affected areas directly after its inspection by the Sudanese authorities.
Khartoum accepted the proposal but the SPLM-N stuck to its request that 20% of humanitarian aid be delivered to the civilians in the rebel controlled areas in the Blue Nile State through Asosa in Ethiopia.
In a bid to convince the rebel group to accept the American humanitarian proposal, the US envoy for the two Sudans, and his British, French and Norwegian counterparts met on Monday with the SPLM-N delegation to discuss the matter.
"The SPLM-N demanded that the Khartoum regime agrees to an external crossing point, as the SPLM-N requests to open Asosa crossing point and the idea has gained acceptance and support from President (Thabo) Mbeki and the AUHIP and the international community," said Mubarak Ardol the spokesperson of the SPLM-N negotiating team.
"Khartoum must not be allowed to control the humanitarian operation as it did in Darfur where it violated the international humanitarian law, and continued war crimes," Ardol added in a statement issued about the meeting on Tuesday.
The envoys encouraged the SPLM-N to accept the American proposal as its implementation will be during the six-month period determined by Washington to reassess the partial lift of sanctions on Sudan, adding that it represents the best guarantee for its full implementation.
The meeting took place in the sidelines of the Sudan Call alliance meetings in Paris. The opposition armed and political groups are expected to end their meeting on Friday.
In a press conference to brief the local media about the decision of President Obama to ease sanctions on Sudan at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, USAID Sudan Mission Director, Jefferey Ashley, told reporters that the SPLM-N still rejects the proposition.
The Sudanese government refuses to authorise the transportation of humanitarian aid from Ethiopia to the SPLM-N controlled areas to prevent any attempt to deliver weapons to the rebel fighters. While the SPLM-N refuses the delivery of relief materials particularly the drugs from the government areas fearing that it may never reach the civilians, Ashley said.
In line with the Roadmap Agreement, the signing of a humanitarian access agreement and a cessation of hostilities agreements will be followed by a meeting to discuss the creation of suitable atmosphere for an inclusive constitutional conference with the participation of the Sudan Call forces.