Sudan: Khartoum Says Committed to Humanitarian Aid, SPLM-N Offers Cessation of Hostilities

Khartoum — After refusing to renew a deal signed with tripartite initiative members, Sudanese government reiterated its commitment to cooperate with the international community to deliver humanitarian assistance to civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

Sudanese interior minister, Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, met Tuesday with United Nations envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Haile Menkarios, to discuss statements by Suleiman Abdel Rahman, head Sudan humanitarian commission, refusing to renew the humanitarian memorandum.

Last week, the United Nations, the African Union and the Arab League swiftly reacted to these statements and issued a statement expressing their concern over Suleiman's remarks. They also disclosed that they had requested an extension of the humanitarian deal.

In statements to the official agency, SUNA, the minister said his government is committed to cooperate with the international community to deliver humanitarian aid through the appropriate means despite the expiration of the three month protocol signed on 2 August.

Ibrahim further urged the international community to pressurise the Sudan People's Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) and accused the rebels of impeding the humanitarian operation.

UN OCHA, recently voiced concern about the worsening humanitarian situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile saying the armed conflict has affected 900,000 people.

Reacting to the statements of the Sudanese minister, SPLM-N Secretary General Yasir Arman dismissed Khartoum's accusations that they hamper the implementation of the humanitarian memorandum.

Arman told Sudan Tribune that the SPLM-N is ready for an agreement that does not enable Khartoum to buy time without delivering Humanitarian aid to the needy in the rebel held areas.

"More than that we are ready for a comprehensive cessation of hostilities" in the Tow Areas for a speedy humanitarian operation that would require guarantees from the African panel of President Thabo Mbeki, Ethiopian Prime Minister, U.S., Britain, Canada, France and EU, he further said.

The rebel leader said the statements of the interior minister aim to "cover-up" the cancelation of the humanitarian agreement by the Sudanese humanitarian commissioner last week.

The African mediation will convene the parties soon to resume talks on the humanitarian and political trucks .

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