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SPLM-N, U.S. officials discuss ways to reshape humanitarian proposal

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SPLM-N leadership delegation meets the head of the Office of the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan Paul Stevens in Addis Ababa on 28 April 2017 (ST Photo)
April 28, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) said on Friday they discussed with American diplomats the improvements they want to be included in a humanitarian proposal made by the former U.S. envoy.

Former US Special Envoy Donald Booth called on the SPLM-N last November to abandon its demand for a direct corridor to deliver 20% of the aid directly to the rebel-controlled areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. In return, the USAID would deliver them directly medical humanitarian assistance.

However, the group declined the offer saying they want to include some changes taking into account their needs on the grounds.

SPLM-N peace file spokesperson Mubarak Ardol, said a delegation led by its chairman, Malik Agar, discussed for the second time this month with the director of the office of the U.S. special envoy for the two Sudans, Paul Steven, the improvements they call to be included in the American humanitarian proposal.

"The two sides agreed to continue the discussion and to tackle in depth the issues that have been raised by the Movement," Ardol further said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Friday.

Last February, SPLM-N leader reiterated their demand for the direct delivery of 20% of humanitarian assistance through Ethiopia, pointing they do not want to allow Khartoum to control the whole humanitarian operation in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

"This gives the Sudanese government the upper hand in the (humanitarian) operation, and we should keep in mind the experience of UNAMID in Darfur," he emphasised.

Previously, the SPLM-N in its reply to the former special envoy said the safe humanitarian corridor is also needed to transport its sick or wounded fighters for treatment from the land-locked rebel areas, and enable its leadership and negotiating teams to reach the venue of the peace talks in Addis Ababa.

Also according to Ardol, the meeting discussed the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Sudan adding they called to include the comprehensive peace and democratic reforms in the process of normalisation with Khartoum government.

"This regime divided the Sudan, committed war crimes and genocide and does not want to change," he said.

Last Wednesday, following a meeting in Khartoum with the Sudanese Presidential Assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, Stevens said he discussed with him ways to promote human rights and freedoms situation in the country, pointing to his country’s desire to work with the Sudanese government on these issues.

He also met with the opposition groups to discuss the democratisation process and their participation in an inclusive process for peace and national dialogue.

(ST)

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