Since 2011, the government of Sudan has waged war against the citizens of Sudan living in the Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The government has blocked humanitarian access to the affected areas, using food as a weapon of war. As a result, 650,000 people are internally displaced and face ongoing deadly threats while 250,000 Sudanese have escaped to refugee camps in South Sudan and Ethiopia that lack adequate food, water, sanitation and housing – all difficult conditions complicated by the rainy season.
On September 21, 2012, 123 organizations issued a joint statement, the 4th statement since December 2011, urging the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to swiftly impose consequences on the government of Sudan and to consider alternative means for aid delivery if the government continues to block access to the two areas.
On September 22nd, a comprehensive report by the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) regarding the status of negotiations including proposals for outstanding issues was due to the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC.)
UNSC Resolution 2046 required a report on September 2nd from the UN Secretary General on the status of negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan including proposals on outstanding issues among all parties such as access for humanitarian aid. Negotiations had not concluded and so the African Union proposed an extension to September 22nd, which the UNSC accepted.
To address the urgent need for aid into the two areas, the government of Sudan and the SPLM-North signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) on August 4th and 5th with the UN, AU and the League of Arab States; however deadlines have passed without progress and the government of Sudan refuses to cooperate.
Negotiations are necessary, they take time, and they should continue on a variety of issues related to Sudan and South Sudan and with regard to addressing political and security arrangements in the North. Time is up, however, for negotiations regarding humanitarian aid into the two areas. The international community has accommodated the government long enough and for far too long.
Act for Sudan urges the AUHIP to include in its September 22nd report and the AUPSC and the UNSC to adopt the AUHIP’s recommendation for cross border humanitarian aid operations into the Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The people of Sudan have waited long enough; they cannot wait any longer – they will not survive.