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Humanitarian groups urge UNSC to lobby Sudan for access to Two Areas

September 24, 2012 (KAMPALA) - Over 120 international organizations have submitted a signed letter on 21 September to the United Nation Security Council demanding that humanitarian aid to be delivered to rebel-held areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile state’s in Sudan.

Rebel groups have been fighting the government in the states, known as the "Two Areas" since they were given special status in the 2005 peace that ended decades of civil war and allowed South Sudan to secede.

The letter stressed Khartoum’s slow response to proposals to secure humanitarian access to the states, or to meet deadlines set by the international community. Sudan does not want aid to be delivered from Ethiopia or South Sudan fearing it will strengthen the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N).

The SPLM-N was formed after South Sudan seceded in July last year, consisting of members of the largely southern rebel group that fought Khartoum government’s for over two decades. Armed SPLM-N members the SPLA-N refused to disarm as key parts of the 2005 peace deal were not implemented.

The ongoing conflicts in the two states have forced almost 170,000 to flee into Ethiopia and South Sudan left an estimated one million Sudanese civilians in need of humanitarian aid.

The letter to UNSC reminded Khartoum of the consequences of Resolution 2046, which states that under article 41 of the UN charter; “all parties who fail to meet their enforced obligations should face strong consequences, including the imposition of sanctions”.

The letters states: "On August 5, 2012, Khartoum finally signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tripartite Partners that sets out deadlines related to the planning for and distribution of international humanitarian assistance. To date, the government has ignored the deadlines laid out in the memorandum and exhibited no indication that it intends to allow the full and unhindered delivery of aid throughout South Kordofan and Blue Nile."

In May the UN Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, called on Khartoum to accept a proposal put forward jointly by the UN with the African Union an Arab League to allow humanitarian.

Resolution 2046 was mainly aimed at resolving numerous disputes between Sudan and South Sudan and most international diplomacy is focused on the current talks held in Addis Ababa. It is hoped that a breakthrough between Juba and Khartoum will allow the issues of Blue Nile and South Kordofan to be better dealt with.

Khartoum accuses Juba of backing their former comrades in arms and has called for the young nation to publicly acknowledge this. South Sudan denies this and responds that Khartoum is backing rebels in Unity State, Jonglei and Upper Nile.

The SPLM-N have welcomed resolution 2046 and the Tripartite agreement and accuse the Sudanese of delaying and procrastinating over the implementation.

The 123 organizations urge the UN Security Council move swiftly to impose consequences for this failure against Khartoum and to consider alternative means for delivering aid assistance to those affected.

“The humanitarian conditions for civilians who have been displaced are continually deteriorating. Sixteen months on, and many remain hiding in forests or caves in the mountains with little support. Hiding in the harsh mountain conditions, they cannot obtain adequate supplies of food, water and medicines”, the organizations said in a statement on Monday.

Baroness Cox, founder of Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust who visited Sudan in May says many civilians who have been forced to flee from the continuing offensives of the Sudan Armed Forces in Blue Nile and South Kordofan, while the Sudanese Government continued to deny aid access to the people whom they have displaced.

In recent days the number of refugees arriving both Upper Nile and Unity refugees camps has increased due to continue fighting between the SPLM-N and the government forces.

The Sudanese refugees’ children 2 die every day of diarrhea according to the UN working in the camps due to poor hygiene and luck of clean water for the refugees.

In this month the UN and others NGO’s working in camps have reported the conditions of refugees is now improving as the aids agencies help the situation of Sudanese in both Upper Nile and Unity State.

(ST)