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SPLMN-Hilu appeals for return of humanitarian agencies to Sudan’s Blue Nile

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IDPs gather to receive food provided by the WFP during a visit by a EU delegation, at an IDP camp in Azaza, east of Ed Damazin, Blue Nile state, October 21, 2015. (Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters Photo)

July 11, 2017 (KAMPALA) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement –North under the leader of Abdel Aziz al-Hilu (SPLMN-Hilu) has called on humanitarian groups to return to Blue Nile state, assuring it will facilitate such action.

The troubled state witnessed recently tense fighting between the two factions of the SPLM-N, as Malik Agar who leads the other faction accused the Nuba Mountains backed faction of al-Hilu of seeking to destabilise his leadership in his home region the Blue Nile state and instigating intercommunal fighting.

The tribal clashes broke out between the Ingessana tribe of Malik Agar and the Uduk, an ethnic group supporting calls for self-determination launched recently by al-Hilu. As a result, hundreds of civilians fled to refugees camps in Maban in the Upper Nile state, South Sudan.

Reached by Sudan Tribune to comment on the humanitarian situation in the Blue Nile and the neighbouring areas, Sila Musa Kanygi who identified himself as the SPLMN (Hilu) Secretary General said that the movement would do the best it could to ensure safe humanitarian corridors for aid groups that willing to provide aid to civilians in the conflict-affected areas.

“The humanitarian organisations stopped their operations in the Blue Nile (State) because of irrational policies which were put in place by the previous administration. These policies have now been revised to allow resumption of the activities of the humanitarian organisations in the area,” said the rebel official who is allied to Abdel Aziz al-Hilu group.

Kanygi pledged the support of SPLMN-Hilu the new civil administration in the rebel-controlled area in the Blue Nile state, saying they are going to cooperate with any aid groups who are willing to return the Blue Nile in areas under their control.

“On behalf of the Blue Nile people and their new leadership, I express my gratefulness to all humanitarian actors for their generous support during the last period".

"I would like to inform all donors who are supporting the people of Blue Nile with humanitarians needs and also those NGOs who used to work in Blue Nile and had suspended their activities due to the irrational policies that had been adopted by the former SPLA-N Chairman Malik Agar and his colleague Yasir Arman to come back to Blue Nile Region and resume their normal activities helping our people who are currently in urgent need of the humanitarian support,” Kanygi said.

It is not clear how the rebel faction would facilitate the work of aid workers in the landlocked territory without a humanitarian agreement with the government.

The Sudanese government and the SPLM-N negotiating teams failed to reach an agreement on humanitarian access to civilians in the rebel-held areas in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

Khartoum rejected rebel demands for direct delivery of humanitarian assistance from neighbouring countries. Also, it refused a demand to transport 20% of the relief directly to the SPLM-N areas in the Blue Nile.

On the other hand, the SPLM-N negotiating team led by Yasir Arman declined an American proposal to deliver medical humanitarian aid to civilians in the SPLM-N area directly by aeroplane after its inspection by the government.

The SPLMN-Hilu official said that the Khartoum-based Government of Sudan continues Aerial bombardment and ground offensives during the six years of war has created dire living conditions in the area.

“The ongoing acts of war have destroyed clinic-health centre, schools, water points and all social service facilities in the area. Due to the situation mentioned above, people are not able to produce food for themselves and no medicines had been distributed, schools are not working and children lost their chance to education. We appeal to the international community to support our people in Blue Nile Region”, he said.

Different sources said the two factions stopped the fighting in the Blue Nile state among calls for direct discussions to avoid new clashes in the future.

(ST)

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