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192,000 people returned to South Kordofan since 2017: official

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WFP food assistance being offloaded from a truck at a distribution site in the South Kordofan capital Kadugli (File Photo WFP)
June 2, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The government of South Kordofan State said more than 192,000 people have returned to their original villages in the state since last year calling on donors to support the returnees.

Commissioner of humanitarian aid in South Kordofan Khidir Tawil said they conducted several surveys in the various localities to determine the shelter, food, health, water and education needs of the returnees.

He added the delegations that visited the state including from the UK House of Lords and USAID, as well as the UN Deputy Secretary-General, have pledged to urge aid groups to provide humanitarian assistance to the residents.

Tawil also demanded the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) to immediately visit the returnees to provide the necessary services ahead of the rainy season.

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

The SPLM-N is now divided into two factions: one led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu and the other led by Malik Agar. The rift emerged last year over the right of self-determination and other organisational issues.

Before the PSLM-N split, the Sudanese government and the Movement held 12 rounds of talks but they failed to reach a peace agreement.

Also, during the recent round of talks from 1 to 3 February, the Sudanese government and SPLM-N al-Hilu failed to reach a cessation of hostilities agreement.

The African mediation delinked the ceasefire and the humanitarian access and focused at this round only on the cessation of hostilities agreement.

However, differences between the sides emerged when Khartoum proposed that the cessation of hostilities be a step towards a permanent ceasefire and humanitarian access.

For its part, the SPLM-N al-Hilu said they want this agreement to be limited to the security arrangement, pointing they are not ready for the political process.

Also, on the humanitarian issue, they reiterated that they want the emergency relief to be delivered from outside Sudan.

(ST)

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