Sudan reveals deception of Cross-Border Aid

28Sep 2016
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Sudan reveals deception of Cross-Border Aid

THE Government of Republic of Sudan has revealed how it handles the ongoing humanitarian issues in Kordofan and Blue Nile states at the border with South Sudan.

The Sudanese Map.

A statement released at the weekend by the government states said for a long time, the armed opposition, namely the SPLAM/N has been dealing with humanitarian issues as a means of exercising pressure on the Government of Sudan by refusing to allow delivery of humanitarian assistance to the needy in the rebel, held areas in the two States of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

"The movement has repeatedly rejected all calls and appeals to deliver the aid from within Sudan.

It is important here to recall that the Government of Sudan, since the war time in South Sudan before cessation, has always been taking the initiative to assist and aid its peoples in the conflict areas, where they were only accessible through North of Sudan" a part of statement said.

It further turned down the internationally and regionally recognised tripartite initiative which brought together the African Union, the Arab League and the Government of Sudan to allow provision of humanitarian aid to the civilians affected in the two States.

In doing so, the movement sought to draw the sympathy of the international community while in fact it trades the suffering of the people for narrow political gains, if any. But much more shameful is the silence on these constant maneuvers.

The Government of Sudan has made it clear-cut time and again that cross-border operation to deliver humanitarian aid is categorically rejected and unacceptable, the UN and the stakeholders understand that.

It says the position is primarily based on the fact that international law recognises the full right of the affected state in initiating, organising and supervising the humanitarian aid within its territories.

The state is responsible under international law to protect and assist its peoples including the provision and distribution of external assistance, let alone internal limited scale assistance.

More importantly, the charter of the United Nations stipulates for the respect of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of the states and prohibits any action that could breach or threaten these principles, said part of the statement.

However the UN General Assembly land mark resolution 46/182 of December 1991 states clearly that the affected state has the prime responsibility to initiate, supervise manage the relief response.

The tactics and positions of the SPLAM/N have shown for no doubt that the movement disregards the humanitarian issue and, is therefore, unable and unwilling to separate the humanitarian tract from the political one.

In the last round of talks following the signing of the road map by the armed movements the issue of humanitarian assistance was raised, and the SPLAM/N, among other unacceptable conditions, called for cross-border operation.

The response of the Government of the Sudan was quick and clear no way for this. Government sources affirmed that it is unworkable, unnecessary and illogical, and above all it is a matter of sovereignty.

For at least two years, Sudanese government has been facilitating passage of humanitarian cargos and humanitarian related items to the Republic of South Sudan, where hundreds of thousands of people are facing acute hunger.

To carry out this mission, the government and the UN signed a memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in August, 2014.

Sudanese government however put another practically argument, It kept renewing that MOU every six months regardless of the state of politics as the need for humanitarian aid continues to exist.

Sudan’s corridor helped in saving thousands of lives in South Sudan especially in the states of Upper Nile and Bahr Al gazal.

The UN represented by the World Food Programme (WFP), recognised the importance of Sudan corridor as a cost- effective and practical. The World Food Programme (WFP) shipped more than 30,000 metric tons of food assistance, purchased from the strategic reserve of Sudanese government, from White Nile State which borders South Sudan to more than 300,000 conflicts affected peoples in South Sudan.

Having this in mind, it becomes ridiculous and foolish that some insist on cross-border operation when it comes to the affected civilians in the two states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile which are less in numbers than those affected in South Sudan, and mindful that these two states to be assisted are, in fact, one of the areas of Agricultural production in Sudan whose products are sold across the Country.

However mere reference to cross-border operation leaves many questions unanswered. The government said it has learned from the experience of the Government-named Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) when huge amounts of arms and ammunition found their way to the rebels, thus contributed to the continuation of the war.

This is not hard to believe. In September 2009, Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) wrote in a report entitled “Towards good humanitarian government” the principles of Independence and neutrality are central to how humanitarian actors position themselves in relation to the state, what these principles mean in operational terms is, however, little understood or analysed.

Often neutrality and independence are taken as shorthand for disengagement from state structures, rather than as necessitating principled engagement with them.”

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