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SPLM-N is willing to sign a humanitarian ceasefire with Sudan

June 7, 2012 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N) is ready to sign a cessation of hostilities agreement with Sudanese government to facilitate the distribution of humanitarian assistance to the needy civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Leaders of the SPLM-NThe SPLM-N was asking the international community to pressure Khartoum to allow humanitarian access to the rebel held areas in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile where thousands of civilians are deprived of food and are suffering from malnutrition.

However the rebel group, which formed an alliance with other rebel groups in Darfur region, says it is determined to topple the regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) and will engage in battles in different regions with the Sudanese army before attacking Khartoum.

Khartoum, on the other hand, has stated that the rebels have prevented civilians from regaining government controlled areas to exploit them, in its anti-regime propaganda, demanding them to accept a ceasefire to allow humanitarian access.

Malik Aggar SPLM-N chairman and his secretary general Yasir Arman informed the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on Thursday that they accept a cessation of hostility in South Kordofan and Blue Nile for humanitarian purposes, Sudan Tribune has learnt

Aggar and Arman discussed mainly with the Ethiopian leader issues related to the humanitarian situation in Blue Nile and South Kordofan where the SPLM-N rebels have been fighting against the Sudanese army since a year ago.

The rebel officials however showed some reservation against a proposition that Zenawi made to engage political talks with Khartoum to end the dispute in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said Sudanese refugees continue to arrive to the refugee camps in South Sudan from Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

"An average of 4,000 refugees per day have made their way into Upper Nile’s Maban Country from Sudan’s Blue Nile State", said the UNHCR last week.

On Thursday, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Ali Al-Za’tari, said they were alarmed by reports of "raids and looting of markets by armed groups in both South Kordofan and North Kordofan that have recently forced yet more civilians to flee their homes."

Ali urged the clashes to stop and to allow humanitarian access to the civilian particularly women and children. While Amnesty International (AI) called for international action stressing that over half a million people had fled conflict areas in the two states.

Rebel sources said Sudanese official, members of the Khartoum delegation to the talks with the South Sudanese government, tried to conclude some understandings with the SPLM-N delegation but the latter refused to hold any meetings with them.

Sudan refused a provision in UN Resolution 2046 asking to hold direct talks with the SPLM-N on the basis of a framework agreement brokered by the African Union mediation and signed on 28 June 2011. President Omer Al-Bashir at the time denounced the deal.

Following the adoption of the 2 May resolution, the SPLM-N rebels also declined to hold talks with Khartoum stressing they demand a comprehensive process including their allies of Darfur rebels. Khartoum rejected this demand.

(ST)