The Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has expressed appreciation for all parties in Sudan after he and his delegation visited the rebel-held Yabus area in the extreme south of Blue Nile state on Wednesday, to witness the distribution of food and medicines arriving by road from South Sudan. His delegation was met by Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N El Hilu) faction leader Abdelaziz El Hilu.
“This is the first time since 2011 UN personnel have been able to visit this region,” WFP director David Beasley tweeted after his visit. “This is a new day in a new Sudan and a government that recognises the value and the dignity of the Sudanese people, wherever they live and whoever they are. If we continue working together to build peace, all Sudan’s children can look forward to a future brighter.”
‘This is a new day in a new Sudan and a government that recognises the value and the dignity of the Sudanese people…’ – WFP chief David Beasley
Beasley was met in Yabus by SPLM-N faction leader El Hilu, whose movement controls the area. Beasley also met the governor of Blue Nile state, as well as community, traditional administration, and civil society leaders.
In his welcoming address, El Hilu recognised the WFP delegation’s “courage to come all along the way from WFP headquarters in Rome to Blue Nile in order to see for yourself the humanitarian situation of the abandoned people of Blue Nile in the war zone areas. Feel free amidst our people and interact with them.”
He expressed appreciation “for the effort exerted to secure Sudan transitional government authorisation of unimpeded access to deliver humanitarian assistance to the needy people in SPLM-N controlled areas after eight years of blockade.
‘These people you see around have suffered greatly, they have endured tremendous hardships, aerial bombardment and deprivation from the basic humanitarian needs…’ – SPLM-N head Abdelaziz El Hilu
“These people you see around have suffered greatly, they have endured tremendous hardships, aerial bombardment and deprivation from the basic humanitarian needs. If you were to have time, it would have been wise to see for yourself the destruction of schools, hospitals, clinics, churches and mosques that have taken place.
“However, I would like to acknowledge the small support offered to our people by some international humanitarian organisations during the war.
“Despite this suffering and deprivation, these people are resilient and committed to continue the struggle for their rights, freedom and dignity.”
El Hilu pointed out that “the SPLM-N negotiation team is now engaged with the transitional government of Sudan in search for comprehensive and durable peace in Sudan. SPLM-N is entering into this negotiation with an open mind and determination. There is a great opportunity for the Sudanese in government and in opposition to address the root causes of the conflicts in Sudan that have engulfed our country for the last 63 years. We are determined to continue the search for durable and sustainable peace.”
The WFP humanitarian support, including food and medical supplies, is being transported to Blue Nile state by road from South Sudan.
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