News / Africa

Arab League Joins Campaign for Sudan Aid Corridor

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, center, walks with Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir, Khartoum, Oct. 2011 (file photo).
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, center, walks with Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir, Khartoum, Oct. 2011 (file photo).
STATE DEPARTMENT -- The Arab League has joined United Nations and African Union in pressing Sudan to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to the provinces of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, where aid agencies say more than 140,000 people need more food.

But opening humanitarian access to the region is complicated by the continuing rebellion there. According to Sudanese rebel leader Abdelaziz al-Hilu, fighters in the Nuba Mountains who were not eligible to secede along with South Sudan last July are still battling Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF).

"We have a just cause, but SAF troops are fighting for money," says al-Hilu. "They are defending a defunct regime, a failed regime, a fundamentalist regime, so they have lost the motive and incentive to fight."

But Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir says South Sudan is helping the rebels, and that he will not sit by while the new government in Juba threatens national security.

"If they want to change the regime in Khartoum, we will work to change the regime in Juba," says al-Bashir. "If they want to support rebels, we will support rebels there."

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir says Khartoum is already backing militia raids into the south.

U.S. officials support the Arab League's decision to join the United Nations and African Union in efforts to convince Khartoum to allow international aid agencies into Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.

"[The absence of international aid agencies] is contributing to the border insecurity because it spills over," says Princeton Lyman, U.S. special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, explaining that the move could help to ease the conflict. "And it is also creating a humanitarian crisis."

But both countries, he adds, are contributing to the problem.
 
"We need to have both governments realize that this is a self-defeating proposition," he says. "Each one does it, the other one does it, and both of them suffer."

John Bradshaw, executive director of the U.S.-based Enough Project to end genocide, says an ongoing humanitarian crisis only obstructs efforts to establish peace.

"The humanitarian crisis is unfolding right now, and that is something that can be addressed in the short term," he says. "But until there is a larger political resolution of that conflict, [ongoing humanitarian crisis] impedes the resolution of the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan."

Mediators, he says, must convince hardliners in South Sudan that border security can be achieved without use of force.

"There is such a dynamic within Juba to believe that without asserting themselves militarily, they are not going to get the international community to really help them in coming together with the north to resolve a lot of the issues about the border and oil and citizenship," Bradshaw says.
 
Aid agencies say humanitarian conditions in South Sudan and across the border in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile are exacerbated by rising food and fuel costs, a result of the ongoing conflict. Soon it will be even harder to deliver relief supplies, they say, as seasonal rains wash out many roads.

You May Like

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid