September 17, 2012 (KHARTOUM)
– The Sudanese government has accused some international NGOs of being involved in an airlift operation delivering humanitarian assistance to rebel-controlled areas in the country’s southern region of South Kordofan through a “neighboring country”.
The humanitarian aid commissioner, Suliman Abdel Rahman, said on Monday that they had information indicating the involvement of international NGOs he did not name in airlifting humanitarian assistance through a “neighboring country” into areas controlled by the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan State which borders the Republic of South Sudan.
Suliman, who was speaking in an interview with the daily newspaper Al-Sahafah, stressed that the government is committed to implementing the humanitarian assistance agreement it signed on 4 August with the troika of the UN, AU and the Arab League to deliver humanitarian assistance to the affected population in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
Khartoum rejects accusations by some international quarters and SPLM-N that it has been procrastinating in implementing the deal. SPLM-N recently called for ignoring the government and delivering aid through South Sudan and Ethiopia.
Government representatives are due to meet on Wednesday with the troika representatives in Khartoum to discuss technical arrangements of the deal and prepare statistics on the number of the affected population.
Suliman took the opportunity to dispute the SPLM-N’s statistics on the population in need of assistance in the two states, saying that the number of those who need aid in South Kordofan does not exceed 40-50 thousands unlike the SPLM-N claims of 350 affected people.
He added that the number in Blue Nile is no more than 15,000 people concentrated in three areas which are Yabos, Sali and Daka.
Since the beginning of the conflict with the SPLM-N in South Kordofan and Blue Nile last year, Khartoum has been blocking humanitarian assistance from rebel-controlled areas citing security concerns that the SPLM-N would use aid to feed its fighters.