October 9, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — The partners of a tripartite humanitarian initiative to reach the affected civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile announced their readiness to start operating in the government controlled areas but said they are still waiting for rebels’ observations before to working in their zones.
- Sudanese refugees rest next to their UNHCR tent inside South Sudan. (photo UNHCR)
Since one month, delegates from UN agencies, African Union and Arab League are discussing with the Sudanese Humanitarian Commission ways to implement a deal reached earlier last August in Addis Ababa allowing them to deliver aid to the needy population the Two Areas including SPLM-N held positions.
The humanitarian operation was due to start in August but the process was delayed by the lack of data pertaining to the number of civilians and their sites, the two regional organisations also had to provide the lists of monitors. The absence of some representatives of the tripartite initiative from the meetings has contributed to the delay.
In a statement released in Khartoum on Tuesday, the Tripartite Partners said they had "prepared an Action Plan for needs assessment and distribution of humanitarian aid to war-affected civilians in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile States."
The partners said they communicated their plan to the Sudanese government on 8 October, as they parallely tried during ten day through multiple channels in vain to "to obtain the views and observations of the SPLM-North."
The three partners further said they will proceed with the implementation of the plan once they get the government’s final view.
Due to the grave humanitarian situation, "the option for immediate commencement of the implementation of the Action Plan in the locations where the Government confirmed its ability to secure the distribution and assessment teams, strongly presents itself," they said.
The statement underscored also the need secure the safety of humanitarian teams which will work in the two states, once the SPLM-N gives its view to the organisers of the operation.
"The implementation of the assessment and distribution plan requires a commitment towards a cease-fire and a cessation of hostilities from both sides, as provided for in the two Memoranda of Understanding," the three partners said.
They further regretted the mortar attack on the capital of South Kordofan underlining that a shell landed in a UN compound there pointing out it "could adversely affect the chances of activating the Tripartite Initiative on the ground and with the desired speed."
Reuters reported that one or two shells landed inside the UNICEF compound in Kadugli, during the shelling. The shells did not explode but a woman was injured by a rocket explosion outside the compound.
Since the conflict began in June 2011, 600,000 people have been forced to flee from their homes in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, with over 170,000 crossing into South Sudan.