SPLM-N Delegation to the Meeting on the Polio Vaccination Campaign in Addis Ababa has No One to Meet

The SPLM-N leadership received a kind invitation from His Excellency, former President Thabo Mbeki, the Chairperson of the AUHIP, and confirmed its attendance at the meeting scheduled on the 4th of November to resolve only two issues:

  1. For the two parties to declare their commitment on a cessation of hostilities for the period that is needed for the duration of the campaign and for the AUHIP to announce a cessation of hostilities, which is intended to send a credible message to the families of the children in the SPLM-N controlled areas who have been the subject of continuous aerial bombardment against civilian populations up to yesterday and that has resulted in killing many children and forcing their families to take thousands of the children to the caves and the isolated areas to protect them.  The announcement of cessation of hostilities is necessary to provide assurances to those families to bring back their children to the reachable areas for the polio vaccination campaign.
  2. The SPLM-N was suggesting that the vaccination could come from Ethiopia and Kenya.  The Khartoum Ministry of Health and the humanitarian wing of the National Congress are not trusted and they are well linked with the National Congress security organs.  The civilian populations will never allow their children who are targeted by Khartoum aerial bombardment to be vaccinated with a vaccine coming from Khartoum sites, the very government that killed and wounded many of the children and denied humanitarian assistance to them for more than 2 years, which is a war crime in international humanitarian law.  Yet, the SPLM-N, in the interest of the vaccination campaign, conceded and proposed for UNISFA to take the vaccine into the SPLM-N controlled areas, and the SPLM-N delegation was ready to resolve that in Addis Ababa.

The SPLM-N delegation was going to Addis Ababa to resolve only the issues of the vaccination campaign and to smooth its way without mixing it with any political issues.  We believe, the vaccination campaign should not be politicized.  Since yesterday, Sunday, the SPLM-N delegation assembled to travel to Addis Ababa.  The delegation consists of the SPLM-N Chief Negotiator, Yasir Arman, and the Chairperson of the SPLM-N humanitarian wing, Neroun Philip, and his two deputies, Hashim Orta and Dr. Ahamed Saeed.  The SPLM-N delegation could not go to Addis Ababa because there was no one to meet from the Sudan government.  The SPLM-N learned that the Sudan government failed to travel to Addis Ababa, claiming that the invitation did not reach them.  This is the second time for them to fail to attend a meeting called by the AUHIP.
On the 14th of February 2013, the SPLM-N received an invitation from the AUHIP to convene in Addis Ababa on March 5th and the SPLM-N delegation was ready to travel to Addis on the 4th of March.  The SPLM-N was notified by the AUHIP that the talks were postponed until March 10th.  On the 9th, the SPLM-N delegation was ready to arrive at Addis Ababa and no arrangements were made to convene the talks until the evening of March 10th when we received a message from the AUHIP that the talks were not going to take place until further notice and it was an open secret that Khartoum refused to attend the talks.
The SPLM-N is calling on all those who are concerned about the success of the polio vaccination campaign and the fate of thousands of civilians who are being bombarded on a daily basis in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile and who are denied access for humanitarian aid to condemn the Sudan government and its policy of using humanitarian aid as a weapon of war as they are continuously doing in Darfur and other areas of Sudan.
The appeasement by some circles of the genocidal regime in Khartoum is what allows genocide to continue in Sudan.
Source: The SPLM-N Delegation for the Polio Vaccination Campaign
November 4, 2013