No Agreement, No Ceasefire, No Aid

Humanitarian access to the war zones in Sudan, namely to Dar-Fur, Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State, has been a thorny issue for a while, and negotiations between the conflicting parties have failed again and again in the past. It therefore was not much of a surprise when the most recent attempt, organised under the umbrella of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, did not lead to any substantial result either.

Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile representatives of SPLM-N proved to be serious about a peace deal: they proposed 80% of humanitarian aid to be transported through government controlled areas in Sudan, and only 20% across the border with Ethiopia, under government supervision. The regime, however, rejected any compromise including even the smallest part of aid deliveries being conveyed through another country, as they claim these might be misused to carry in weapons for the rebel forces.

Sudanese dictator Al-Bashir's warfare against Nuba people is described as „the most gruesome the world has ever heard of“. And it is no news that his regime does not allow humanitarian aid to reach people most affected by hostilities. And again recently, the Sudanese Armed Forces were reported to deny civilians in Nuba Mountains access to their farming land and harvest, hence aggravating food shortage and threat of starvation in one of the most fertile regions of Sudan.

Meanwhile, in spite of the International Criminal Court's arrest warrant against Al-Bashir for suspected genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, the EU keeps transferring important amounts to Sudan, stating that it “follows a peacebuilding and people-centred approach in Sudan, and has scaled up its efforts to contribute to a more inclusive socio-economic environment”.

In April this year, the EU announced a 100 million Euro development package aiming to “[reduce] poverty, [promote] peace and good governance (...) [in] conflict-affected areas such as Darfur, East Sudan, (...) Southern Kordofan [Nuba Mountains] and Blue Nile”. Still, considering the known fact that the regime is using humanitarian aid as a pawn against Sudanese civilians, how probable is it these funds will ever reach vulnerable populations in mentioned areas?

With the breakdown of negotiations, hope for peace is dwindling and the number of displaced persons is expected to rise incessantly. And while Europe puts every effort into avoiding to receive refugees, it keeps funnelling tax funds in disguise of humanitarian aid towards a criminal regime, which is actually causing civilian populations to flee their homes. Great job, Europe, I am proud of you!

For further information:

Sudan Call coalition of local opposition groups: Declaration

The opposition's reaction to the failed peace talks: no option but to call for a "peaceful intifada".

What is happening in Nuba Mountains? A Report by Al-Jazeera.

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