Home | News    Wednesday 13 November 2013

UNSC urged to allow access for Sudan polio vaccination campaign

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November 12, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - UN emergency coordinator, John Ging, has called on the Security Council to ensure unimpeded access to the rebel areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states in order to carry out a polio vaccination campaign .

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John Ging, Director of Operations for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), (Photo UN)

UN humanitarian agencies were hopeful to reach some 165,000 children under five years in the rebel held areas in the framework of a national vaccination campaign launched on 5 November .

But the government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) failed to strike a deal on how this humanitarian operation can be implemented. The government declared an unilateral cessation of hostilities from 1 to 12 November but refused to meet the rebels to discuss the technical details of the operation.

The SPLM-N, on the other hand, insisted that a negotiated accord is crucial for the operation and also raised the need to agree on the transportation of the vaccines. The rebels reject the participation of the Sudanese government humanitarian body in the process.

Following a briefing for the UN Security Council on 11 November on the situation in the two areas, John Ging, director of operations for the UN OCHA, told reporters that, UN agencies had been unable to deal with the outbreak of polio in the region, due to the failure of the two parties to reach a deal over the technical issues.

"The purpose of the briefing to the Council is to appeal to them for an intervention (to resolve this situation). They have their own authority, they have their own instruments", said Ging who seemed dismayed by the situation.

He further expressed hope that the Council will reengage in an effective way with the parties, stressing that they are looking for a "different and more effective engagement" from the 15-members body as the precedent attempts did not yield a positive outcome.

The Irish diplomat said every side have its excuses and argument but in the end, the parties to the conflict "do not pay the price".

The Sudanese government and the SPLM-n issued two statements on Tuesday accusing each other of obstructing the vaccination campaign.

The Humanitarian Aid Commission in Khartoum denounced the SPLM-N’s "intransigence" and "its quest to exploit the situation to achieve some gains that have nothing to do with the humanitarian and moral dimension to the campaign".

The humanitarian body said they were ready to launch the campaign, finalised all the preparations jointly with the UN agencies and formed joint teams to monitor the operation at the level of the two states.

On the other side, SPLM-N secretary general Yasir Arman issued a statement underlining that it was the government which refused to attend a meeting called by the African Union mediation (AUHIP) in Addis Ababa on 4 November to discuss the technical measures including the cessation of hostilities.

"The meeting was scheduled to resolve the technical issues, mainly to reach a credible ceasefire for the duration of the campaign that would convince the families of the children to bring them to the sites of the vaccination centers and that the Sudan government will not attack them by air or by ground", he further said.

Arman further accused the government of launching "biggest ever campaign" against the rebel positions in the two states.

The conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile displaced thousands and forced more to flee to the neighbouring countries; Ethiopia and South Sudan.

The UN Security Council and the African Union urged the government to allow unrestricted humanitarian access to the affected civilians in the SPLM-N areas, but Khartoum says the rebels will benefit from the food and rejected the request.

Ging said the failure to vaccinate the children in the two states hampers their plans to eradicate polio disease from the planet .

However he added that they are ready to carry out the operation in few days if the Security Council bring the two sides to accept a cessation of hostilities.

"If we get the green light, we, on the United Nations side, are ready and it will only take four days to vaccinate the children", he said.

(ST)

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  • 13 November 2013 12:43, by Konkooc

    fake arab goverment are still commiting crimes against humanity but not allowing polio vacinnation to South Kordufan and South Blue Nile State. this are African tribes children denied all human needs and chased out from thier ancestrol land forcing them to live in the cave. God bless truly African!

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    • 13 November 2013 21:59, by padiit gaga

      this Arab regime doesn’t care with African children in Blue Nile and South Khordufan and Nuba mountain while they are they really citizens of Sudan not migrant like them. God will help them to chased those Arab any way. UN will get way to vaccination. this criminal Bashir will be hang like his friends byline by ICC.

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  • 14 November 2013 07:39, by tootke’bai-ngo

    UNSC SHOULD KNOW THAT KHORTOUM IS NOY ALLOWINH POLIO VACCINATION TO REACH THOSE CHILDREN AT RISK BECAUSE KHORTOUM HAVE ITS’ OWN PLAN TO WIPEOUT THE SAME CHILDREN AS PREPARATIONS IS UNDER THE WAY, AS EXPRESSED IN THE LEAKED VIDOE TAP BY INDICTED CRIMINAL AHMED AROUN. UNSC SHOULD JUST GO A HEAD, TAKE SUDAN SITUATION TO THE ASSEMBLE IN ORDER FOR THOUSANDS OF LIVES TO BE SAVE, IT’S VERY URGENT MATTER.

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