Humanitarian access into the affected areas continues to be denied by the Sudanese Government and food is being used as a weapon of war; in itself a crime against humanity. Since mid 2011, more than 650,000 people in the two states have been affected or internally displaced by the ongoing conflict. More than 200,000 people have fled to refugee camps in South Sudan and Ethiopia, where they continue to face dire living conditions.
The letter (full text below) was sent in anticipation of the 22 September deadline for the comprehensive report by the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) due to the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) on the negotiations and proposals for outstanding issues between Sudan and South Sudan. Talks between the Presidents of the two counties resumed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia week commencing 24 September. Whilst the talks are important to bring peace between the two nations, humanitarian access to the affected regions in Sudan is yet to be implemented and the people of Sudan continue to suffer at the hands of their own government.
The letter called on the UNSC to show resolve in demanding humanitarian access, and noted the collective alarm of each organization at ‘the ongoing lack of full and unhindered access for international humanitarian aid agencies to all areas within the Sudanese States of South Kordofan and Blue Nile’. The letter deplores the fact that despite a UNSC resolution ‘calling on the government of Sudan to immediately allow for such access in the Two Areas – and a memorandum of understanding concluded between the UN, African Union and the League of Arab States – the so called “Tripartite Partners” – and the Sudanese government providing for humanitarian aid delivery, one million people continue to suffer from food insecurity as well as the continued threat of indiscriminate bombings and attacks on civilians’.
The joint statement noted that if Sudan continues to ignore its obligations to allow humanitarian access to the people of South Kordofan and the Blue Nile, the UNSC must move swiftly impose consequences against Sudan for this failure under Resolution 2046 and to consider alternative means of delivering aid.
The full text of the joint letter and list of organisations signatory to the letter can be found below.
SUDAN: Letter to UN Security Council Members from 123 Organizations Regarding Humanitarian Access
21 September 2012
We are deeply alarmed by the ongoing lack of full and unhindered access for international humanitarian aid agencies to all areas within the Sudanese states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, as well as Darfur. Despite a United Nations Security Council Resolution calling on the government of Sudan to immediately allow for such access in the Two areas – and a memorandum of understanding concluded between the UN, the African Union, and the League of Arab States – the so-called “Tripartite Partners” – and the Sudanese government providing for humanitarian aid delivery, one million people continue to suffer from food insecurity as well as the continued threat of indiscriminate bombings and attacks on civilians.
It has been over four months since the UN Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, called on the government of Sudan to immediately accept the Tripartite Partner’s proposal to permit humanitarian access throughout the two states. The resolution followed months of delay on the part of the Sudanese government over the review of a proposal that the Tripartite Partners submitted concerning aid delivery. On August 5, 2012, Khartoum finally signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tripartite Partners that sets out deadlines related to the planning for and distribution of international humanitarian assistance. To date, the government has ignored the deadlines laid out in the memorandum and exhibited no indication that it intends to allow the full and unhindered delivery of aid throughout South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
The UN Security Council committed in Resolution 2046 to hold all parties who fail to comply with the Resolution’s terms fully accountable through the imposition of measures under Article 41 of the Charter. It is imperative that it do so. Those parties who fail to meet their obligations should face strong consequences including the imposition of sanctions. In its upcoming review of the compliance of the parties with Resolution 2046, the Government of Sudan’s failure to abide by the provisions related to humanitarian assistance and to comply with the agreement which it signed should be considered a key factor in determining what actions the Council takes. For many in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, this is a matter of life and death.
For over a year, the government of Sudan has refused to allow aid into these two states, resulting in emergency levels of food insecurity (one level below famine) for 150,000-200,000 people in Southern Kordofan and crisis levels for hundreds of thousands of others in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. Continued aerial bombardments by the Sudanese Armed Forces and fighting with rebel groups has displaced or severely affected an estimated 665,000 people inside Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile and led 205,000 refugees to flee to South Sudan and Ethiopia, where they continue to face desperate conditions.
We welcomed the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding between the government of Sudan and the Tripartite Partners, but are distressed that the government of Sudan once again continues to delay in its implementation of a key agreement. Similarly, we appreciate the actions of the UN Security Council to secure the delivery of humanitarian aid and to support the initiation of a political dialogue between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-N. However, such actions will be of little consequence to civilians on the ground if the Council does not make efforts to ensure that the government of Sudan complies with the Council’s approach.
If Sudan continues to ignore its obligations to allow humanitarian access to the people of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, we urge that the UN Security Council move swiftly to impose consequences for this failure and to consider alternative means for delivering aid.
1. Act for Sudan
2. Aegis Trust
3. African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS)
4. African Soul, American Heart
5. Afro-Canadian Evangelical mission
6. Alliance for the Lost Boys of Sudan
7. American Friends Service Committee US West Region
8. American Islamic Congress
9. American Islamic Forum for Democracy
10. American Jewish World Service
11. Americans Against the Darfur Genocide
12. Armenian National Committee of America
13. Arry Organization for Human Rights & Development
14. Beja Organization for Human Rights and Development
15. Blue Nile Association
16. Bnai Darfur Organization
17. Brooklyn Coalition for Darfur & Marginalized Sudan
18. Center for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation
19. Change the world. It just takes cents.
20. Christian Lifeline International Aid
21. Collectif Urgence Darfour
22. Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action
23. Combat Genocide Association
24. Common Cause
25. Community Empowerment for Progress Organization-CEPO
26. Congregation of St. Joseph
27. Connecticut Coalition to Save Darfur
28. Darfur Action Group of South Carolina
29. Darfur and Beyond
30. Darfur Interfaith Network
31. Darfur Leaders Network
32. Darfur People's Association of New York
33. Darfur People's Association of New York Brooklyn
34. Darfur Rehabilitation Project, Inc.
35. Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre
36. Darfur Solidarity In USA
37. Darfur Union, UK & Ireland
38. Dear Sudan, Love Marin
39. Doctors to the World
40. Enough Project
41. Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi
42. Foreign Policy In Focus
43. Genocide No More - Save Darfur
44. Genocide Watch
45. Georgia Coalition to Prevent Genocide
47. Help Nuba
48. Holocaust Museum Houston
49. Hope With (South) Sudan
50. Human Rights & Advocacy Network for Democracy (HAND)
51. Human Rights Org.
52. Human Rights Team - Community of Christ
53. Human Rights Watch
54. Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART)
55. Humanity Is Us
56. Humanity United
57. Investors against Genocide
58. Iowa Center for Genocide Prevention
59. Italians for Darfur
60. Jewish World Watch
61. Jews Against Genocide
62. Joining Our Voices
63. Kamma Organization for Development Initiatives (South Sudan)
64. Keokuk for Global Awareness & Aid
65. Leadership Conference of Women Religious
66. Live Well South Sudan
67. Long Island Darfur Action Group
68. Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur
69. Moro Association of the United States.
70. My Sister's Keeper
72. National Association of Evangelicals
73. National Council of the Churches of Christ
74. Never Again Coalition
75. New York City Genocide Prevention Coalition
76. New York Coalition for Darfur and All Sudan
77. New York Darfur Vigil Group
78. Nuba Christian Family Mission
79. Nuba Mountain Peace Coalition
80. Nuba Mountains Advocacy Group
81. Nuba Mountains International Association
82. Nuba Relief, Rehabilitation and Development Organization
83. Nuba Vision Coalition, Inc
84. Nubia Project
85. One Million Bones
86. Operation Broken Silence
87. Peace Action
88. Persecution Project Foundation
89. Physicians for Human Rights
90. Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition
91. Presbyterian Church, (USA), Office of Public Witness
92. Rabbinical Assembly
93. San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition
94. Save Darfur North Shore
95. Save Darfur Washington State
96. Shine A Ray of Hope
97. Society for Threatened Peoples
98. South Sudan Institute for Women's Education & Leadership 99. South Sudan Women Christian Mission for Peace
100. Stop Genocide Now
101. Strategic Centre for Social Studies in Blue Nile
102. Sudan Advocacy Action Forum
103. Sudan Democracy First Group
104. Sudan Human Rights Network
105. Sudan Rowan, Inc.
106. Sudan Unlimited
107. Sudanese Australian Human Rights Association
108. Sudanese Front for Change
109. Sudanese Marginalized Forum
110. Temple Ahavat Achim Darfur Social Action Committee
111. The Africa Institute of American Jewish Committee
112. The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
113. The Institute on Religion and Democracy
115. Triangles of Truth
116. Ubuntu Women Institute USA Inc.
117. Unitarian Universalist Association
118. Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
119. United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
120. United to End Genocide
121. Use Your Voice to Stop Genocide RI
122. Voices for Sudan
123. Waging Peace