28 July 2012

Sudan: African Mediation Suspends Talks Over Humanitarian Access to Southern Sudanese States

Photo: http://www.un.org
Displaced by conflict.

Khartoum — The African Union mediation has suspended talks between Sudanese government and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) over the humanitarian access to the rebel controlled areas in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, a news report said.

Talks over humanitarian aid to Blue Nile and South Kordofan are deadlocked as Sudanese government refuses SPLM-N's involvement in the distribution of the humanitarian assistance.

Khartoum for long months refused to allow UN agencies to work in the rebel held areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile fearing rebel will also be fed by the humanitarian assistance. However It accepted the food distribution to the needy civilians in the rebel areas after the African Union and Arab league committed themselves to deploy monitors to scrutinize the humanitarian operation.

According to London based Asharq Alawsat, United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan Haile Menkerios, stated that the members of the tripartite Initiative have decided to suspend talks between the two parties over humanitarian access.

"The suspension of (humanitarian discussions) is caused by politicians", Menkerios said,. "And till they reach solutions the humanitarian track will be suspended", he added.

The special envoy further disclosed that the two parties have engaged indirect political talks through the African Union mediators.

Sudan earlier this week said sending a delegation to start political talks with SPLM-N in Addis Ababa based on the resolution 2046, which provides that such negotiations should be engaged in accordance with a framework agreement signed on 28 June 2011.

Previously Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir rejected this framework deal and demanded that the talks should be based on the 2005 peace deal signed with the former rebel SPLM when it was a unified movement before South Sudan secession.

SPLM-N Secretary General, Yasir Arman ruled out political talks with the Sudanese government because it refuses to implement the tripartite humanitarian agreement and accused Khartoum of practicing mass starvation policy.

The rebel group, which is under huge international pressure to reach a political settlement with Khartoum, indicated its preference for a comprehensive process including Darfur rebel groups.

But the international community still supports separate political talks for SPLM-N which is seen more close to Juba.

International diplomats say ending the Sudan-South Sudan disputes seem more urgent for regional stability.

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