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SPLM-N obstructs child vaccination in Sudan’s Blue Nile state: governor

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A man waits to receive food provided by the WFP during a visit by a EU delegation, at an IDP camp in Azaza, east of Ad Damazin, Blue Nile state, October 21, 2015. (Photo Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters)
May 19, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The governor of Blue Nile state has told the United Nations independent expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, Aristide Nononsi the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) obstructs the child vaccination programme in areas under its control.

The UN expert is visiting Sudan from 11-21 May to carry out his fourth mission to the country so as to continue his engagement with the Sudanese authorities and discuss the implementation of his recommendations.

Blue Nile governor Hussein Yassen Hamad Friday said he briefed Nononsi on the security situation in the state, stressing Sudan’s army adherence to the unilateral ceasefire declared by President Omer al-Bashir.

He said the SPLM-N is not serious about achieving peace, pointing to its rejection for the child vaccination campaign in areas under its control besides its continued attacks against farmers, cattle herders and humanitarian workers.

Hamad stressed his government’s commitment to the U.S. humanitarian proposal, pointing to humanitarian and IDP’s challenges facing his state and the need for the international community to support peace, stability and development.

He called for the need to double the contribution of the international community in water harvest and returnees support programs.

The Sudanese army has been fighting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, also known as the Two Areas since 2011.

Talks between the two sides for a cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access are stalled since last August. The SPLM-N demands to deliver 20% of the humanitarian assistance through a humanitarian corridor from Asosa, an Ethiopian border town.

But the government rejects the idea saying it is a breach of the state sovereignty and a manoeuvre from the rebels to bring arms and ammunition to their locked rebel-held areas in the Two Areas.

The SPLM-N last November declined an American proposal to transport humanitarian medical assistance directly to the civilians in the rebel-held areas in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

According to the official news agency SUNA, Nononsi said the international community is keen to support efforts to achieve peace, stability and development in the state.

According to the U.N., the independent expert on Sudan will meet with relevant stakeholders, including the Sudanese authorities, civil society actors, academia, community leaders, members of the diplomatic corps, and UN entities to ensure all relevant information is reflected in his next report to the U.N Human Rights Council (HRC).

As part of his eleventh day visit, Nononsi, who was invited by the Sudanese government, will hold a series of meetings in Khartoum and Blue Nile.

Meanwhile, the independent expert is expected to present his findings and recommendations to the U.N Human Rights Council in September 2017.

(ST)

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