Title: The Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SRRA) Press Statement
Author: SudaneseOnline Press Release
Date: 11-21-2013, 02:03 PM
The Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency
The current conflict between the government of Sudan (GOS) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army-North (SPLM/A-N), has reached unprecedented levels of violence. The situation on the ground has aggravated recently in the two areas due to the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) continued aerial and ground attacks against the civilian population and the farms. The Sudan Government has now launched its biggest offensive in southern Kordofan since the beginning of the conflict last June 2011. The Government also continues to deny independent international organizations and the United Nations relief agencies access to southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.
The African Union High level implementation panel (AUHIP) invited on 4th November 2013, the two Parties to the conflict for talks in Addis Ababa to allow the implementation of the polio vaccination campaign in the SPLM/A-N held areas where hundreds of thousands of people are displaced. The SPLM/A-N was ready to agree on the timeline of the campaign and on an impartial actor, e.g. the Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) to deliver the vaccines to the population. GoS turned down the invitation.
Contrary to what is circulating in media and some diplomatic circles, the GoS did not honour its own Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) declared by the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) to cover the period 1st to 14th November, which disrupted the agreed timetable for the WHO-UNICEF polio vaccination campaign planned to take place. Instead, it has launched its biggest ground and aerial offensive on southern Kordofan between 2 and 13 November. SAF conducted 36 air strikes using high altitude Antonov planes and jet fighters . The aerial strikes focused on the main towns of Umsirdiba and Abuhashim in Omdorein county on 2nd November, Tujur, Abri, Tunguli and Nyigir in Delami county on 5th, 10th and 11th November. Angolo and al-Reika in Buram County on 6th and 7th November and Mayak, Wadaka, Mufu in Kurmuk County on 5th and 9th November. 15 people were killed; mainly women and children, and 22 were injured. The Sudan Revolutionary Forces (SRF) manages to destroy the SAF convoys along the Dilling-Kadugli and Kurtala-Dellami roads.
As a result of the fighting over half of million IDPs and war affected communities in the two areas live in precarious humanitarian conditions and their situation will deteriorate further in the next few weeks, in the absence of any external efforts to provide them with the minimum protection and humanitarian needs; such as food, medicine and shelter. There is a huge humanitarian crisis looming in the two areas that requires immediate attention and response by national and international humanitarian actors to alleviate the immense human suffering.
Therefore, the SRRA thus reaffirms its commitment to implement the planned polio campaign on time and invites the GOS to reciprocate by accepting the AUHIP invitation to address the outstanding issues pertaining to making the vaccination of children possible. Furthermore, we call on the UN Security Council, the Chairman of IGAD, the chair of AUHIP, the African Union Peace and Security Council and the member states of the international community at large to exert more pressure on the GoS to lift restrictions on delivery of food and allow the UN agencies and independent international organizations immediate, free and unhindered access to the needy civilians in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States.
Neroun Philip Ajo
Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SRRA)