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Sep-20-2012 19:47printcomments

Sudan: Humanitarian Access into Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States

Overview and Recommendations of USCIRF Issues New Policy Brief.

Sudan in Africa
Source: en.wikipedia.org

(WASHINGTON DC) - Agreements by the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) concerning aid operations are an initial step that may allow the international community to address the needs of hundreds of thousands of displaced persons. The signings by the GoS and the SPLM-N of separate Memorandums of Understanding on August 5, 2012 will hopefully allow humanitarian access into Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, if the parties can agree to the details of aid operations. However, until the GoS and SPLM-N agree on a ceasefire and how to deploy the assistance, the civilian population will not receive vitally needed relief.

The ongoing negotiations to determine the details of the deployment of humanitarian assistance in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile are vital to ensure that unrestricted assistance will reach as many people as possible. Unfortunately, to date, no progress has been made in the negations and international assistance remains out of reach for hundreds of thousands of persons.

During the negotiations, the U.S. government and the international community must be mindful of the Government of Sudan’s history of delaying implementation of agreements and denying humanitarian access to populations in Darfur and other areas of Sudan. All stakeholders must remain steadfast in insisting on a speedy and robust implementation of the United Nations, African Union, and League of Arab States proposal for delivery of humanitarian assistance in the two states.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recommends that the U.S. government:

- Press the Government of Sudan and senior Sudanese officials strongly, bilaterally, and with international partners to implement the two MOUs’ so that neutral and independent actors can provide unrestricted humanitarian access to affected populations as soon as possible in all areas where there are affected populations;

- Work with partners on the UN Security Council to undertake a trip to the region, should negotiations stall, to support the work of the United Nations, African Union, League of Arab States, and the African Union High Implementation Panel during their negotiations with the GoS and SPLM-N concerning humanitarian operations, cessation of hostilities, and a political solution to the fighting in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states;

- Provide support, as needed, to the United Nations, African Union, League of Arab States, and the African Union High Implementation Panel during their negotiations with the GoS and SPLM-N concerning humanitarian operations, cessation of hostilities, and a political solution to the fighting in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states;

-Fund humanitarian relief operations in the two states generously; and

-Press the Government of Sudan to end its targeting of individuals in the conflict zone based on their religion or perceived religious affiliation.

To read the full policy brief please click http://www.uscirf.gov/reports-and-briefs/policy-focus.html and visit www.uscirf.gov to learn more.

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