Sudan has welcomed a tripartite initiative proposed by the African Union, Arab League and the United Nations to deliver humanitarian assistance to the needy civilians in the areas held by the rebel Sudan people’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N).
Last January, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos announced the United Nations is negotiating with the African Union and Arab League about providing observers in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. The African and Arab observers should make sure that food and humanitarian assistance reach only the needy civilians.
Sudan refuses to allow humanitarian aid to reach the civilians in SPLM controlled areas in South Kordofan saying the rebels prevent them from leaving their positions in order to draw food for their fighters. They also suspect some international aid groups of supporting the rebels.
According to the official news agency SUNA, delegates of the three regional and international organizations have submitted Tuesday the tripartite initiative to the Sudanese Social Welfare Minister Amira al-Fadel Mohamed and Commissioner of the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), Suleiman Abdel Rahman.
The minister told the delegates that the proposal will be referred to the competent authorities at the foreign ministry and HAC for consultations; but she however announced her initial approval of the submitted plan; according to SUNA.
The commissioner, following the meeting, stated that all the humanitarian arrangements in the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile are progressing according to schedule. He further said comprehensive surveys are now conducted in South Kordofan by national partners to identify the needs in the troubled states.
Suleiman denied that his government is facing any pressures from international organisations stressing that the Sudan does not object to the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all its citizens, but this should be in the context of national sovereignty.
The Sudanese official was alluding to the threats by US officials to conduct a cross-border humanitarian intervention to the South Kordofan state. Washington said that famine would occur in these regions if Sudan continues to reject access of international aid groups to the rebel held areas.
US Ambassador to the United Nations , Susan Rice sent a letter to the UN Security Council on 16 January saying that over 500,000 people are affected by the war there "and if there is not a substantial new inflow of aid by March of this year, the situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile will reach Stage 4 of an emergency, which is one step short of full scale famine."
Sudan rejected the American threats and accused Washington of making all these pressures to feed the rebels.