Sudan resists international pressure for full access to 2 states

Sudanese refugees flee the Blue Nile state for western Ethiopia. The government restrictions on aid operation in two conflict-torn states will remain in place. Photo by: K.G. Egziabher / UNHCR

Government restrictions on aid operations in two conflict-torn Sudanese states will continue to remain in place.

The Sudanese government said it is standing by its decision to bar foreign aid workers from entering and distributing aid in the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, news agencies report. All humanitarian aid for the two states is to be delivered and distributed only by the national Humanitarian Aid Commission and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society.

The government, which recently met with 20 aid groups and U.N. agencies, also said infrastructure and social development projects should be implemented by local organizations and relevant ministries, the Sudan Tribune reports.

Sudan did make some concessions, according to the Sudan Tribune, citing the country’s official news agency. It has agreed to allow aid groups that were working in the two states before violence broke out to remain and assist in relief operations under certain conditions, the Sudan Tribune says.

The United Nations and the United States, among others, have been urging Sudan to allow greater access, including permitting foreign aid workers to enter the two conflict-affected states. The Sudanese government has explained the ban was imposed because of fears “for the security of foreigners.”

The United Nations and its partners have been able to deploy teams of local staff to South Kordofan and Blue Nile but they argued international expertise is needed to support relief operations there.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.