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South Kordofan plans to return 40,000 IDPs: HAC

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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)

February 3, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) in South Kordofan State said it has developed a plan to return 40,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their villages of origin.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) has quoted HAC commissioner in South Kordofan Khidir Tawil as saying the plan also determines the returnees’ humanitarian needs and the basic services including water, schools and clinics.

He added the plan further aims to develop the infrastructure, pointing out that it includes the establishment of typical villages.

Tawil pointed out that arrangements are underway to hold a workshop for the foreign aid groups to discuss the plan next week.

Last September, the HAC in South Kordofan said 74,000 IDPs have returned to their original villages in the state during the previous period.

Also, the government of South Kordofan in June 2018 said more than 192,000 people have returned to their villages of origin in the state since 2017.

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 a round of talks in February 2018, 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.

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