Khartoum — The Sudanese government has agreed with the United Nations (UN) on establishing a joint mechanism to coordinate aid efforts in conflict-affected areas, state media reported on Wednesday.
Sudan has for months been under international pressure spearheaded by the UN and the United States (US) to allow humanitarian intervention in rebel-controlled areas of the country’s southern states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
The two states have since last year been the scene of conflict between the Sudanese government and rebels who fought as part of the army of neighboring South Sudan which split to form an independent state in July last year.
“Sudan and the UN have agreed to form a joint mechanism to manage coordination between UN agencies and the Sudanese Humanitarian Aid Commission on providing humanitarian assistance to affected areas,” two state media outlets, Sudan News Agency (SUNA) and Sudanese Media Center (SMC), reported.
According to the two agencies, the agreement was reached during a meeting held Thursday between Sudan‘s social welfare minister, Amira al-Fadil, and representatives of UN agencies in the country, including UNDP representative Ali Hassan Al Zaatari.
The meeting, however, put a caveat that UN agencies must “commit to the directives established by the state in providing humanitarian and development assistance.”
Citing security concerns over assistance reaching rebels and fearing a replay of the crisis in the western region of Darfur, Khartoum was initially opposed to any form of international humanitarian intervention in the two states. It even put greater restrictions on the operations of aid groups already existing in the two regions.
As pressure mounted, with the US forcing a delay of an international conference planned to discuss mitigating Khartoum’s economic difficulties following the secession of the south, Sudan, however, began to soften its stance but insisted that the role of foreign aid groups must be confined to assisting
Category: South Sudan News