Sudan Allows UN to Deliver Aid to Rebel-Held Areas

Published July 3rd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Khartoum has agreed to let the United Nations fly relief to areas controlled by the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in the Nuba Mountains in central Sudan, a senior relief official said Monday. 

Humanitarian Aid Commissioner (HAC) Sulaf al-Din Salih told AFP the government had agreed for the assistance, which includes farming tools, seeds and medicines, to be flown to the region from al-Obeid airport in central Sudan's North Kordofan province. 

Salih said negotiations are underway between the government and the UN for launching relief operations from inside Sudan, instead of Lokichokio in north Kenya which he complained were "away from government supervision". 

Khartoum has accused UN-sponsored relief agency Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), which operates from Lokichokio, of helping SPLA rebels to abduct pro-government militia leaders earlier this year. 

The commissioner said UN investigations had shown UN staff were involved in the incident. 

He proposed that before moving the base of relief operations from Lokichokio, Sudan should be allowed "a strong representation" in that north Kenyan relief base to supervise the launching of those operations. 

The agreement with the UN came in the context of delivery of humanitarian assistance to both government- and SPLA-controlled areas in Sudan. 

Salih also complained that the United States "has not until now fulfilled its pledge of providing spare parts for a relief train that is to carry humanitarian aid" to the Bahr al-Ghazal region in southern Sudan. 

Earlier reports said the US had lifted an embargo on the export of spare parts for American-manufactured locomotives for use in transporting relief from central to southern Sudan. 

He accused the United States of "procrastination." 

The official with the state-run aid agency also accused the SPLA of violating a ceasefire in Bahr al-Ghazal by attacking the town of Aweil and "devastating" the town of Gogriel - KHARTOUM (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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