Sudan Urges Kofi Annan to Push for Resumption of UN Relief Flights
Khartoum urged United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to intervene for the resumption of UN relief flights to southern Sudan, in a statement carried by Sudan's press on Friday.
Minister of State for Social Affairs Chuol Deng warned in the statement that the UN's decision to suspend relief flights would "add to the suffering" in the south, where a 17-year civil war is being waged.
Deng lashed the UN for not denouncing the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) for alleged violation of a ceasefire in south Sudan's Bahr el-Ghazal region.
But he made no reference to the accusations of government air raids on civilian targets and UN relief centers in Bahr el-Ghazal, which prompted the temporary suspension of the flights.
The statement said the government pledged to maintain safe relief routes by land and railway to both government- and SPLA-held areas in south Sudan, especially in Bahr el-Ghazal.
It added that relief operations must be conducted under the supervision of the UN-sponsored Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) and in accordance with the provisions of the 1989 OLS agreement.
Deng called on the UN and the international community to "exercise adequate pressure on the rebel movement to accept a comprehensive ceasefire".
The black Christians and animists of the SPLA have been leading a civil war against successive Arab-Islamic governments in Khartoum since 1983 -- KHARTOUM (AFP)
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