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SPLM-N calls for separate humanitarian talks


Sudan people’s Liberation Movement - (North SPLM-N)

March 14, 2016

On the Eve of the Addis Ababa Meeting on 18 March 2016, the SPLM-N calls for:
· the AUHIP to separate the humanitarian process from the political process
· an agreement between the parties on humanitarian access
· the UN to implement the agreement reached by the two parties
· the Sudan government to halt aerial bombardment against civilian populations

After five years of the NCP war against the SPLM-N and after the same period of negotiations, it is evidently clear that the call made by the SPLM-N five years ago to separate the humanitarian process from the political process is not only in line with the international humanitarian law, but it is the only option to end the suffering of civilians and to deny the Sudan government their usual game of using humanitarian assistance for war and political purposes. Therefore, on the eve of the Addis Ababa strategic consultations with the AUHIP between four Sudanese opposition organizations and the Sudan government, the SPLM-N leadership calls for the following:

1) The AUHIP needs to separate the two processes, the humanitarian and the political processes, and to put much focus on the humanitarian process and the right of civilians to humanitarian assistance regardless of the failure to achieve a common political agenda between the parties. That has been a consistent position of the SPLM-N over the last five years, which has been rejected by the Sudan government in a clear violation of the international humanitarian law.

2) The SPLM-N is ready to immediately continue engaging in order to reach an agreement that will provide for the unquestionable right of the civilian populations to access humanitarian assistance and, for the world at large, to uphold the principles of impartiality, neutrality and the independence of humanitarian assistance and the need for unhindered access of humanitarian supplies.

3) The SPLM-N is ready to take the Switzerland humanitarian agreement on the Nuba Mountains, which was sponsored by the U.S. government and Switzerland, as a basis to resolve the current impasse with regard to reaching an agreement on the humanitarian situation. It is to be recalled that the same Sudan government has signed this agreement under General Bashir on 19 January 2002 and it is the same government that is denying around 1 million displaced persons in the Two Areas from access to humanitarian assistance under the eyes of the international community.

4) The SPLM-N equally is ready to reach an agreement on multiple access points from inside and outside Sudan that would include Elobied, Kadugli and Damazen from inside and Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan from outside Sudan.

5) The SPLM-N would welcome the United Nations to implement an agreement on humanitarian assistance as it has been reached by the parties to the conflict and in accordance to international humanitarian law. It is worth mentioning that the SPLM-N has signed two agreements with the United Nations to deliver humanitarian assistance that were shut down by the Sudan government with complete silence from Africa and the international community in 2012 and 2014 despite the broken promises of the Sudan government to the United Nations in order for the government to buy time and to continue to deny access.

6) What is taking place now in Marra Mountain in Darfur is a clear evidence of how the Sudan government disregards the United Nations and continues to target civilian populations throughout Sudan, and yet, they are promoting a charm offensive and they expect to be rewarded by allowing them to control the humanitarian access in the Two Areas, in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile, in a complete breach of international humanitarian law.

7) The Sudan government and its air force continue to target civilian populations in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile where there are more than 25,000 civilian causalities, wounded and dead from the aerial and ground attacks of General Bashir’s air force and army and around a million are displaced, terrorized and denied humanitarian access, and more than 300,000 are refugees in South Sudan and Ethiopia. As of today, a full fledge dry season offensive is at its peak in the Two Areas whereby the civilians are the primary targets of the Sudan government. In Blue Nile, they are attacking the SPLM-N liberated areas from three directions for the last three months; and in the Nuba Mountains, they are attacking our areas from eight directions. The civilians are the first targets in their attacks. The same happened in Marra Mountain, yet the victims are being blamed, not the Sudan government.

8) There are many resolutions by the UN Security Council that ask the Sudan government to halt its aerial bombardment against the civilian populations in Darfur, yet the Sudan government extended its holy mission against the civilian populations in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile, which constitutes clear war crimes that have been documented by many human rights organizations. The government is using all types of bombs, including cluster bombs, and yet the issue of these thousands of civilians has been forgotten, and as a result, the Sudan government is continuing its war crimes, and now they are more encouraged by their participation in the Yemeni war coalition and the resources they are getting from the coalition.

9) It is worth mentioning that in the political process, the SPLM-N is ready to participate in a second phase of a credible national dialogue process under the auspices of the AUHIP and in accordance with the African Union resolutions. The SPLM-N and the Sudan Call forces will never be included in the present first phase of the national dialogue that is cooked and controlled by the National Congress government whether they extended it for 1 month or 1,000 months.

Lastly, the SPLM-N is never wrong when doing the right things, and we will stick to the international humanitarian law even if others decide to abandon it.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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